Finding out why

Sometimes when I read articles about fundraising practices, the stories hit close to home.  Like this one over at 101Fundraising. Essentially, the article laments that our CRM systems do a great job of itemizing transactions, but a really poor job of revealing WHY things happen.  Like, for instance, why donors lapse.  Could be a variety of reasons outside of our control.  But what if there were a few things we could control that would actually promote donor retention (if only we knew about them)?


Here’s what I mean by that.


Remember about a month ago when I mentioned how my alumni organization had called and asked me to give?  I was happy to do so.  A month later, my happiness has begun to fade.  During our original phone chat, Hilary asked me if I wanted to receive any university decals for my car.  I told her I didn’t want them to send me anything.


So a couple of weeks ago I receive this big package with a wooden plaque and an envelope full of car stickers.

wah wah

Right.  That was me thinking:  what am I supposed to do with this stuff?  Didn’t they listen to me when I said I didn’t want to receive anything?  Doesn’t their CRM system know what to do with that information?  Apparently not.  And that’s exactly the point Charlie Hulme is trying to make in his article.


Do our donors experience any Debbie Downer moments?  Truth is, we don’t know.  We only notice after they lapse, but we never know why.  We just continue to spend money sending them mail with a speck of hope they’ll miraculously start giving again.


If you have any insight you’d like to share, let me know!


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