Anne Schneider is a donor.
She donates to many different organizations. But not all organizations end up getting repeat gifts from her. In this video, you’ll learn why.
Shanon Doolittle and I were filming Anne for a different project. But when Anne told us this simple piece of advice she wished all Executive Directors and Development Directors knew, we asked her if we could share this portion of her interview on Movie Mondays. Anne happily said yes. 🙂
If you’re interested – the project we filmed Anne for is a project we’re doing as part of the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference.
If you have a story or any advice around connecting with donors, please share it in a comment box below the video. Thanks.
Also, if you’re not already a Movie Mondays subscriber, sign up for your own free subscription so you won’t miss out on future movies. Click here for Your FREE subscription to Movie Mondays.
For your own free subscription to Movie Mondays, click here.
Chris Davenport says
If you have a story or any advice around connecting with donors, please share it in a comment box. Thanks. 🙂
Jim Welch says
Wow……this was so eye opening. I could almost give a sermon on this video. I am new to the non profit world, so pardon my ignorance. Over the last couple of years I have heard this idea of non profits being donor-centric. I take that to be “it is about them, not about us”.
This video magnified that through a donors eyes.
The following could sound very critical, and that is not all the way it is intended.
The interviewed donor showed praise for organizations that met her needs/wants, psychologically and emotionally. She said “I only contribute to organizations that take care of me”
In a business relationship for example, we might say something like that. “I purchase Netflix, because they meet my need for watching movies”. Or “I buy a car from Sally because she takes care of me. When I buy that car, she always makes sure it has a full take of gas, and is freshly washed, and includes a free warranty”.
So from this video, it the question jumped out at me “what does it mean to take care of Anne”? or any other donor.
She wants acknowledgement, and in a timely manner (“we count the days”).
I realize that the topic of this video is connecting with donors on a human level. And my hope is to keep that forefront. Note in this short video, she did not acknowledge what an amazing job the non profits she contributes to are doing. I suppose you could assume that they are doing a great job.
Remember Jack Palance playing Curly in City Slickers? Here is a bit of a misquote, but close. “The secret to life is one thing”. Billy Crystal responds, “thats great, but what is the one thing”? Curly responds, “that is what you have got to figure out”.
There are might be many answers to the statement she makes “I only contribute to organizations that take care of me”. Yes, there probably is more than one thing when it comes to taking care of our donors. Like Curly says, we have to figure that out. A hand written thank you. Picking up the phone. Just to name a couple things.
To me this was a wake up call video, and helped me to get a large glimpse of “donor think”. Thanks so much.
higher ed woes says
This is such a nice demonstration of the fundamental key to stewardship.
What’s frustrating is that the non-profit I work for (higher ed) has extremely slow gifts processing times (around one week normally to one month during holiday season) and has no system to inform us of gifts over a certain threshold. As a result, donors can sometimes wait a month and a half to get an acknowledgement letter and thank you, and that is terrible.
Wow, I found this really harsh. I am a VP of Development and spend so much time investing in donors. But sometimes it does take a couple weeks to personally thank due to a heavy work load and demands and internal processing of checks, etc. It is no indication of my excitement level. It has to do with the capacity of a small team and intense work load. This donor is really off, and I wouldn’t personally want her giving to the organization I work for. We need donors who give because they want to give, and who are with us regardless of a same-day thank-you. Relationships are developed over time, and the gratitude invested in donors also is done over time. I typically love these videos, but this one seems less helpful than others.
Always good to hear from a donor confirming best practices in thanking and stewarding donors!
I’m curious how much others are persisting when they do those thank you calls in trying to reach the donor assuming you are reaching out immediately? Is leaving a nice voicemail sufficient? Do you keep calling until you get a person on the other end? If not, are you following up with an email same day as well?
Russell Wycoff says
Great to hear from donor ’bout this… Thx for posting (sharing with my colleagues at nfp work, and arts group I volunteer with.) Cheers!
Fundraising 101. The easiest money to get is a renewal – provided you take a minute to say thanks.
Steven Screen says
Just wanted to say that I love this. It’s a perfect illustration the recent stat that’s been going around: a 3-minute phone call after a gift increased retention by 30%. If we could all increase our major donor retention rates by 30% we could all be doing a lot more good in the world. Thanks to Anne and Shannon for showing this so clearly through Anne’s story!
Dail Ballard says
Gosh. I find very few donors who present this way. It does take time to process donations – especially regarding the three remote sites in our organization. We, too work really hard to acknowledge and inform and keep our donors invested in a variety of ways. Yet, I have rarely come upon a donor who is really looking for “what’s in it for them” as it relates to their generosity.