Last week I had the pleasure of listening to Mark Phillips and Damian O'Broin present the results of a mystery shopping exercise they've recently undertaken in the UK, Ireland, U.S.A, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
I'm sure they will be blogging about the results in due course and I don't want to steal their thunder, but if you've ever read any fundraising mystery shopping survey, then you can probably guess the results.
With a few notable exceptions most charities they tested are lousy at thanking, welcoming and keeping in touch with donors.
As a profession it simply isn't good enough and the end result is that it costs more and more to recruit new donors, people get fed up with giving and fundraisers get tarred with the same brush as banks and utility companies in the bad service stakes.
We owe it our beneficiaries and our profession to be better than that, so ask yourself - if my team was mystery shopped how would we do? If it's anything less than first class, then you have a duty to make things better. Starting now.
So while the bad practices of others gives an opportunity to impress donors with our competence and personalisation, it is only a small consolation.
Wouldn't it be great if next time one of these mystery shopping exercises is completed people are wowed into saying what a good service we are providing as a profession...
Mark and Damian have the following posts up about the research: