Knowing where you are going with the donor experience, how you’re going to get there and being focused on execution is a key driver for the digital executive who is passionate about the donor experience.
It is not enough to be obsessed and passionate if you don’t get anything done for the donor. Ideas are great. Results are impressive. Donors don’t care that you are well intentioned if you don’t actually improve the experience for them. They want their goals met not just understood. This is the approach we will suggest to you and follow as well. The approach to use is to organize and execute your donor strategies around strategy, people, process and technology.
To set the overall framework, strategy should not be in isolation of a goal that is measurable. The goal is the destination. The strategy is how you will get there. Too many times we get enamored with the strategy not realizing it is taking us in the wrong direction. The goal should be framed as a “lagging indicator”, measured by a time frame and a specific result. The key question is always about business impact and how we will measure it. While this exercise isn’t always easy, it is essential.
The strategy is the “how we will” reach the goal. The best strategies are leading indicators for how the goal will be achieved. They are not voluminous in nature but focused on a few critical items.
Once we have the goal (lagging indicator) and strategies (leading indicators), scoreboards and dashboards keep us all on track. The visual nature of dashboards and scoreboards is very powerful for visualizing the current donor experience. The final key for the digital executive is accountability. Without accountability, the whirlwind of everyday emails and meetings will sap the energy of producing results. Most great plans for our donors languish for lack of accountability.
In addition to the approach of strategy, people, process and technology, we need to execute our strategy. This should be done through a detailed program planning approach. If you have enough programs, it moves to portfolio management.
Here are the key ideas:
- Use an approach that includes strategy, people, process and technology for improving the donor experience.
- Create goals (lagging indicators) that are measurable and time limited.
- Create strategies (leading indicators) that produce the results you want.
- Create scoreboards and dashboards to track your leading and lagging indicators.
- Create donor experience accountability for achieving goals and strategies.
- Utilize a detailed planning and execution system to improve the donor experience.