This week's round up
How fundraising & altruism can help overcome loneliness

Donor Magic: Avoiding "Computer Says No" Moments


If you've ever seen Little Britain then you'll be familiar with Carol, the not very helpful travel agent.  If you don't know what i'm talking about then you can watch on YouTube.

Although Carol is a caricature there's no doubt that there is a grain of truth in the character and we all have 'computer says no' moments when we don't do our best for our donors.

These are moments when you feel like yelling at someone or when you want to hit something (or someone!) in frustration.  When you are unable to help a donor due to your database running slow or because of a system you have in place.

It’s absolutely imperative that you try to keep these moments to a minimum and avoid them at all costs.  These negative interactions can be hugely damaging for your non-profit. 

Whenever you encounter a donor then you've got to remember that you are the charity in the eyes of that person and you have a responsibility to act accordingly.

Learn to recognise ‘computer says no’ situations and look for ways to resolve them.  Let others know about them, so you can take collective responsibility for overcoming them.  If you can’t avoid a ‘computer says no’ moment, then at least make sure you acknowledge it and apologise for it happening.

I'm sure you can think of 'computer says no' moments you've experienced with other organisations (i've had a few with a certain insurance company that I won't name) and how they made you feel.  If you're like me you won't be using them again.  The same applies to donors and future gifts depend on you resolving and avoiding these moments at all costs.