It isn't about the donation . . . it is about trust!

trustDid you read Seth Godin’s blog post a few days ago? He wrote about what the most important question a company should be asking itself about its customers. In Godin-like fashion, he runs through a laundry list of questions that are not as important. In the end, he tells us that the most important question in marketing is: “Do they trust me enough to believe my promises?
As I let this blog marinate for a few days, I’ve come to see Godin’s question as critical for both for-profit and non-profit corporations alike. I even Googled the search words “non-profit donor trust” and came across a great post at Fundly titled “Building Donor Trust For Your Non-Profit Organization“. The first paragraph of this article summarized my sentiments perfectly:

“Donors won’t give if they don’t completely trust your organization. They have to emotionally invest in your cause before they financially invest, and the bridge between the two is built on trust, accessibility and accountability. How do you build that bridge?”

After this obvious realization, I decided to do the opposite of what Seth did in his post and started writing down questions that non-profit organizations should be asking themselves.
Here is just some of what I came up with:

  • Is your agency doing what it said it would do with a donor’s contribution?
  • Are you achieving the programmatic results and outcomes that you promised?
  • Are you measuring the right things in order to know your agency is making a difference?
  • Are your data gathering tools and methods valid and acceptable?
  • Does your agency communicate with donors in ways they want to be communicated?
  • Is your agency running programs that address community needs? Or are your programs being run just because of organizational inertia?
  • Are we sharing the type of success stories that your donors want to hear?
  • How much do your donors trust you? Can it be measured and quantified?

Asking and answering questions like these are directly related to building trust with your donors.
Here are a few other good links that I found from my Google search regarding donor trust and loyalty:

How is your non-profit organization addressing donor loyalty? How are you building trust and relationships? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment box below.
Here’s to your health!
Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC!/eanderson847

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