CDE project 3 section 3: Making it happen
- Written by
- The Commission on the Donor Experience
- May 02, 2017
In Appendix 2, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions, but our top tips are as follows:
Keep it simple
If we have one piece of advice that we feel is more important than any other, it is keep it simple.
We have seen that there are lots of things that you can measure, but you don’t have to measure them all. Just choose one! Choose what you think will be most important for you (that might be just one thing or it could be more) and focus on that. Create simple reports that allow you to focus on the most important learning and make simple changes to your programme to test what effect it has.
Remember, it’s not about perfection
Perfection is the enemy of progress. It might appear daunting, but the most important step you can take is the first.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. As you test and learn, you’ll improve what you measure and understand better how to improve it.
It’s not about finding perfection – it’s about making a commitment to constantly improve.
Storing what you’ve learnt
In an ideal world you’ll record what your donors are saying about you on the database (against their individual record) and you’ll use this to target, segment and personalise communications by how donors feel.
But this isn’t a perfect world. You’ll create much of the change by simply knowing what motivates your donors across the board and measuring how well you deliver.
Proving it works
There is a huge amount of evidence from the commercial world that shows that customer loyalty and satisfaction lead to future income, and there is a growing body of similar evidence in the charity world (see Appendices 1 and 6).
If you need to make your own business case, then you will need to set up tests that can track:
- How your donors feel
- How changing the way you communicate can change this
- Whether that leads to greater income in the long run.
A structured, long-term test would be needed. It’s possible to carry one out, but potentially complex. It would be incredibly valuable. If you do it, please share your results with the rest of the sector!