Donors want to give, members want to renew memberships, but sometimes they cannot. It can be a real problem for an organization, which may have spent a lot of money and energy in development, but then, somehow it doesn’t receive the funds.  What could be the problem?  It’s on the details… Below are a couple of details to pay attention to:

Detail 1-- Links should work

Recently, I received an invoice as an attachment to a nice email. All was well done and professional, until I clicked on the link for online payment. Then, I was taken to an error page on the nonprofit website.  Not nice.  Now it’s up to me to figure out how to pay the organization. Do I look around the website for a link? Write a check?  Maybe leave this alone for now...and the organization may never see any donation or membership payment. Some prospective donors may never contact the nonprofit with this issue, and the bad link detail will go on undetected.

*** Pointer --  Check regularly on the invoice or email master text to make sure it’s still valid.  Usually, changing  only one invoice or email  doesn’t work well, since most systems use a master file that populates all the communications with donors.

Detail 2 – Take information over the phone easily

Have everybody in the organization trained in handling payments over the phone. Not just accounting folks. All the information and forms should be easily accessible and ready to be used, including online forms. When donors or others call to make a payment, get it done. This may be easier said than done. I have seen people transfer payers from one person to another– don’t do that. Don’t frustrate the person on the other end of the line.  Everyone should know how to handle the calls, help and get any payment.

***Pointer -- The nonprofit could have a phone setup for people who wants to pay, so that they can do it easily. The message could be,  “If you want to make a donation or a payment, please press 1 and someone will get the information right away.”

Nonprofits are competing with other organizations for every cent they get. Sometimes the day-to-day activities cloud the importance of making donations easy and stress free. Sorry, but if I’m put on hold for a bit too long or get attitude or cluelessness, I hang up and give my money to someone else. So it’s important to make donating an easy, pleasant experience, not one where donors get error messages on the computer or an aggravating phone person. Details matter.

See more here Volunteers:  Catch them and keep them
Check out 'Nonprofit Finance: A Practical Guide"
Website: www.webshanker.com



 


Comments

Sandy Sommers
04/01/2016 1:59pm

LOL- One of the links in our newsletter was not working. Thanks for posting this.

09/25/2016 10:39pm

I know there are many benefits of donations. My family has many reason to donate their money to poor people. I know that giving makes me happier. According to my previous lesson on ethics, Research has shown that spending money on ourselves does not significantly increase our sense of happiness or wellbeing. A Harvard Business School study suggests that giving to others is directly correlated with an increased sense of happiness. The Harvard researchers write: "Happier people give more and giving makes people happier, such that happiness and giving may operate in a positive feedback loop." It is better to give than to receive. I don't live in a perfect world, and there's never going to be a perfect time to give but there are always people out there in need of help.

05/31/2016 8:58am

hi there, nice one.

07/04/2016 4:36am

Good post ! I just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been conducting a little research on this.

07/06/2016 4:41am

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09/21/2016 1:44am

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