Commercial businesses and charities both have to fulfill needs in order to survive. But whose needs do they serve?
You might think that commercial businesses serve the needs of their customers while charities serve the needs of their missions (such as feeding the hungry or curing cancer).
But think again because charities are actually in the business of serving the needs of their customers too— just like commercial businesses. It’s just that they call their customers “donors”.
So the questions they need to ask themselves daily are very similar to the ones commercial businesses must ask:
“What have we done for the donor lately?”
“How can we give our donors more?”
“How can we satisfy their needs?”
“How can we make them feel like ‘heroes’?”
“How can we improve our communications with them?”
“How can we be more transparent about what we’re doing?”
“How can we report back to our donors?”
“How can we make it easier for them to give?”
And most importantly, “How can we help donors feel empowered so they’ll give more.”
Once charities learn to answer those questions well and put their ideas into action effectively, they’ll fulfill both their missions and their donors’ missions more successfully. Then we’ll finally see charitable giving increase beyond its woefully slow growth rate (just 1.7% in 2012).
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