What Fundraisers Can Learn From Restaurants and Waiters

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Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

What fundraisers can learn from waitersPeople give billions of dollars each year to waiters for a lot of the same reasons they give to charities.
1. Social conformity (simply because it’s something you are supposed to do)
2. Reciprocity (in exchange for something of value – service)
3. Appreciation (recognition that the service was good)
4. Sympathy
5. Empathy
But what else can we learn from the tips we give (unrestricted spending that is certainly not required) to restaurant waiters?
An interesting study in 1989 found the following:
“Customers who visited the restaurant 5 or more times per year left a larger tip (after controlling bill size) than did customers who visited the restaurant fewer than 5 times per year.”
“People also tipped more, the more favorably they evaluated their service.”
So what’s the takeaway that fundraisers can learn from restaurants?
I think this reinforces my philosophy that quality engagement is the key to more revenue.
Of course, we all know that visiting with donors results in more and larger donations. So this philosophy probably comes as no surprise to you. But I think that quality engagement can be scaled-up thanks to technology these days.  Now you can reach more supporters with high-quality “touches” more frequently. Thereby providing better service and more value for your supporters and tremendously decreasing costs for your organization.
Now you can do less with more. You can engage more frequently and provide better service. And, if you do, I’ll bet you’ll increase your tips!
P.S. Want more insight into the minds of your donors? Check out “Inside The Mind of a Planned Giving Donor,” an eBook by Dr. Russell James, J.D., Ph.D, CFP.


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Related posts:

>> Do people prefer when others pay for a nonprofits’ overhead costs?
>> Should your donors be given a chance to tip your organization?

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