Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A personal reminder of the importance of feedback

Donors support charities because they are nice and they care. Our job as fundraisers is to make sure they have every opportunity to do so, and are encouraged to do so again.

There is some debate as to whether thank you letters should be sent to some, all or no donors following gifts. The arguments against are all focused on cost saving, and to some extent the assumption that the donors wouldn't want their money spent that way.

We at Pareto Fundraising encourage charities to say thank you every time someone donates, and send donor care letters updating donors on how their money has been used. Sometimes we fail to persuade them to do so.

But I had a little reminder today of the importance of feedback. I am currently in London, where I am presenting some fundraising training sessions at a fundraising conference.

Last night, as a friend, John Sauvé-Rodd was leaving I asked him what honey bees had to do with with fundraising - and told him about my blog.

A fundraiser that he had just introduced, Anetta Murphy, overheard and said - 'Oh, I know; did you write that blog about the honey bees in Canada?'

Now I had never met Anetta and she works for an agency in Dublin, but she told me that her boss, Damian had sent her the blog.

To this point I thought I had about ten readers of my blog (my sister, my girlfriend, my dad and about half a dozen Pareto Fundraising staff) so I was amazed - but more importantly incredibly motivated to carry it on and make sure I get more quirky, but useful, stuff up there.

OK, big ego boost too - but honestly, isn't that what donors need as well? (I don't say 'want' because they - like me - would deny that!)

So please, send me feedback too, I want to know who reads this!


Damian O'Broin said...

Hi Sean - imagine my surprise to find myself and my colleague Annetta mentioned in your blog!

As it happens I only came across it recently when I was checking out the Pareto website - as a fundraising blogger myself I'm always keen to find other practitioners of the art! But do keep it up, it's very good.

My own blog is sadly suffering form the effects of workload and deadlines, but - like you - I feel re-motivated to get stuck back in.

'Sean is always learning' said...

Thanks Damian - I want to check out your blog but link doesn't work.

Damian said...

Here it is (I'll stop fiddling around with tags)


Martyn said...

Loved the bee analogy Sean. Fundraisers beware! Just like the bee's, if donors get upset they can and will turn round and sting you in the ass! So treat them well and fingers crossed they'll share some of their (h/m)oney with you.....

JohnB said...

I read it. Does that count?

'Sean is always learning' said...

Yes, of course, thank you John!

Anonymous said...

Hi Seanie,

This is your Mum here, with your girlfriend and most of your friends, using one of their computers. Sorry, but to be honest we don't read your blog. We just say we do because we know it pleases you.

Now, don't forget to eat your greens.

Mum x

Anonymous said...

Ay Sean Lad, tis tha old Dad here. Ah saw what tha's moother said but dinnae worry lad, t's plain tha's moother reads tha blog night and day, else how wid she ha' known to make that post then, eh? Tween tha an me, son, ah reckon she wid read owt tha posted, an gladly man. She's that proud.

Mind doahnt go owt bar 'tat, laddie.

Tha old dad xx

John Lepp said...

Ha - aside from your lovely mom and dad leaving comments and support - I agree Sean - sometimes the act and art of blogging seems to be a lonely adventure. I chuckled at how small this world really is - not only have I worked with John but also Annetta back in Toronto. It shouldn't be surprising at how connected we all are. Thanks for the post!

John Lepp

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