When was the last time you did an audit of your donor response systems?
Sometimes programs get set up without thinking through the inadvertent message we may be sending. Take for instance a website where it takes more than 3 clicks to make a donation. What message does that send to someone who may have been impacted by the email appeal you sent? “Oh, don’t bother giving. We don’t really need it.”
Take for instance this car dealership. I pass this dealership on my way to and from work each day and have really been puzzled by their perspective. For some reason, they think that placing cars in the entrance way is good promotion. The dealership sits on the major highway into town and gets lots of traffic. But now that they have put the cars in the driveway, you would be hard pressed to find your way into the dealership. “Don’t bother. We don’t really want to sell you a car.”
I realize there is some disagreement about the value of postage paid response envelopes vs regular reply envelopes. However, within your own context, consider the message you send by not including an envelope (or a postage-paid envelope) in your direct mail appeal. Maybe it is good stewardship. But then maybe using the entrance to park cars in could be considered good use of available land.
Here are some items to consider:
- Do you have a “corporate” e-mail address that donors can use to inquire?
- Do you have a toll-free phone number available for callers?
- How many clicks does it take to make a gift on your website?
- Do you have special landing pages for e-mail appeals that encourage giving and make it easy to do so?
- Do you include envelopes in your direct mail? Is it postage-paid?
- Who answers your main phone? Person or automated?
- How long do you take to respond to e-mail? 1 day? 2? 5?
Take a moment to audit your messages from the viewpoint of the donor. What are you really saying to them?