Thursday, December 10, 2015

You Did What?

Last week, I outlined the giving experience while making over 30 gifts on #GivingTuesday. This week I want to close a circle for those of you who have been following along since last year's #GivingTuesday challenge. Here is the original post from last year. 

This year, I wanted to demonstrate my experiences as a donor with each of the organizations I gave to. You won't believe some of them. You will find it hard to cope with the reality of the donor experience. But folks, here is the cold hard truth. We're missing it with our donors. We have to map out a year in the life of a donor once we make a gift.

Here is the spreadsheet tracking the non-profits activity since I gave. 

I've been keeping track, and while our donors may not keep track as fervently as I have (consider it research) they do know how it feels. Imagine how it felt this year to be solicited by Heifer International 96 times in one year. That's a solicitation every 3.8 days. Wait, take a moment to absorb that.

The opposite is also true. I gave gifts to some organizations who NEVER contacted me again. Not one single ask, not a thank you, nothing. Their ask to thank ratio is off as well.  

What does this say about us as a profession? No one is perfect, but we have a long way to go. Look at the University of Michigan, they did a great job, and others I support repeatedly do as well. But then look at places like Oxfam and Save the Children. It's borderline harassment. Some of you should be cringing now. Remember, donors don't understand the difference between a soft ask and a hard ask, nor should they have to. It's our job and our please to treat donors well, to make them matter and to help them understand the importance of their giving. When we finally realize that collaboration and the donor experience is what matters, we will have the best of times and donor loyalty for years. But what will it take for us to make this a reality? If it's data, I've got it. If it's something else, tell me what it is, but there's NO good reason to ask a donor for money every single week of the year. Like I said, you did what?

I would love to hear your thoughts on the spreadsheet and the results.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

#GivingTuesday 2015

As in past years, I set out on #givingtuesday yesterday to give gifts and to analyze the process from a donor's eyes. What I have found is hopeful but yet still leaves much room for disappointment. I had some amazing experiences. I also was left with a taste of disappointment. 

I reached out to Facebook and Twitter for places to give and received some amazing responses. I even reached out to some of my favorite travel brands, Delta, Marriott, Kimpton, etc and asked for a place I could give to in their honor and ONLY ONE responded, Kimpton, giving me the Trevor Project. I made a generous donation and the fine folks at Kimpton even sent me a video of them dancing with joy over my donation- wooo.... good stuff!

Here is the spreadsheet tracking more than 30 donations made yesterday. 

Here are some things I noticed:
Organizations still are not paying attention to the gift receipt/email confirmation process: 

Those that have are making a great first impression- check out these examples!

Monthly giving is still not a primary option for many organizations- this is a missed opportunity- To look at someone who has done it well- Check out Planned Parenthood!

Also, it is 2015 and many forms were not mobile optimized. This is a shame, also many of them did not allow me to share my gifts on social media. Of those that did here are some images: 

I tweeted EVERY single organization that had Twitter (don't get me started on the fact that some organizations didn't have Twitter) and not all tweeted me back. This is a FREE way to recognize your donors that ANY organization can do. Have someone monitor Twitter and reply to every donor. Check out the great conversation I had here:

Alas, the Michael J Fox Folks re-solicited me less than an hour later via email. I felt betrayed.

Michigan again wowed me with a GIF posted to my Twitter- bravo!

Some organizations still don't understand that their radio buttons turn donors off... Here is one that aimed way too high and one with an odd amount- $21?

Most innovative giving button goes to the Hawaiian Humane society letting me know that my donation fills the bowl. Cute!  

Finally, THE BEST giving experience of the day goes to the folks at Florida Institute of Technology. Their giving site was PHENOMENAL- is the site. They sent us on a mission to rescue their deans. It was interactive, it was powerful and darn it it was FUN! It was so well executed. Here are just some of my screenshots:

Brilliant Idea and Execution. Well done. The best I have ever seen.
Top honors for the day also go to The Trevor Project and the #elvesofcookchildrens idea will have me coming back every day!

What organizations did you give to that left an impression? Next week I'll be following up on my 2014 donations that were made to show you how many times I was re-solicited by each organization and if I chose to give again this year... until then I would love to hear your #givingtuesday experiences in the comments!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


At this time of thanks, I am most grateful for each and every one of you and all you do for your donors. I thought I would spend today expressing gratitude and providing some gratitude moments you can share with others.

Giving Gratitude: