They say nonprofits should think and behave more like for-profits but what if the paradigm was turned upside down? One thing top performing nonprofits do better than a lot of companies is stewarding their donors. Their successful stewardship results in recurring donors and often leads to larger gifts. How might this work for corporations?
When first-time donors make a gift to a nonprofit, they are not only thanked, but flagged as a newcomer and placed on the mailing list unless they opt out. If the donation is for a specific program or cause, that, too, is flagged so that future communications can be targeted to that area of interest.
Successful nonprofits lavish praise and thanks on their donors frequently. Any company should do the same with customers.
If a customer’s interest has been identified because of a prior purchase or search, this knowledge can be used to target communications to them. This can be highly effective on seasonal items.
Subsequent communications with donors remind them of the impact of their gift and also discuss the progress of the program or cause they funded. After two or three donations, the donor’s name is often run through a wealth screening program to get an idea of the donor’s giving capacity.
And while it’s likely not viable nor practical to do the same at most companies, there are other indicators of customer capacity. One is simple. It’s their zip code.
If a company sells high-end products, this kind of information could be very helpful. That’s where identifying and tracking customer data can be invaluable in leveraging your marketing.
Another thing successful nonprofits do is to alert its donors about other ways they might consider like donations in memory of someone. Here’s where tracking customer data is invaluable. If it is known when a customer’s wedding anniversary is, for example, send a special wish along with an offer to consider buying a gift for their spouse.
The same is true for information about a customer’s family, whether it’s the birthday of a family member or other special occasions. First acknowledge the event and then make the offer. Most customers will cherish the attention. This will make the customer feel more connected with the company and will inspire brand loyalty.
The third and final thing successful nonprofits also do well is to initiate personal contact with their loyal donors. A call to a loyal customer from someone in the customer service department would certainly be novel, wouldn’t it? The purpose? The call would simply be to thank the customer for their business and invite them to contact the caller if they had any questions or comments in the future.
It would almost be like a customer concierge. How impressive would that be? Some casinos do that well by having staff assigned to their players who frequent their location. Just think about the publicity if the company was the first of its kind in that area of business!