Donor care gone wrong

Doubletree-1I checked into a Doubletree hotel last week and I found a box of chocolates and a note written to…not me, but Ms Jensen. I have been called a lot of names in my lifetime, but never Ms Jensen.Doubletree

When I received this note and the chocolates (which were placed in front of a television with the words “Doubletree welcomes Stephen Mally” on the screen), it made me think about the importance of accuracy in donor care.

It made me think about the first thing someone does when they receive your non-profit organisation’s annual report or when they walk into the lobby of your building. The donor looks for their name on your donor honour wall/honour roll.

Things can go very wrong at this point. We have all lived this nightmare – wrong spelling, wrong person, incorrect dollar category, or…a missing name altogether.

I receive calls from people this time of year as they prepare donor listings for annual reports, donor walls, and other forums. “How do I accurately get lists out of The Raiser’s Edge?”, “Why are my anonymous donors coming out in a variety of ways”, “How do you track the way the donor actually wants to be listed on the donor wall?’.

Make a new year’s resolution. Ask donor’s how they want to be listed in public forums. Create a place in your donor database to track donor listings. In The Raiser’s Edge, this place will be an Additional Addressee on the Addressees and Salutations Tab. Asking the donor for their preference, in advance, will save you the headache at end of financial year. Additionally, set a policy and a procedure for tracking anonymous gifts from donors.

Taking the time now to determine the processes for thee types of donor care activities will save you headaches on New Year’s Day!