As a digital nonprofit executive, design is important. What is being asked for is important but the experience the donor has in giving to our mission has become critical.
What does the future of your nonprofit look like? Is it focused on your mission AND design?
Digital nonprofit transformation is all about being intentional about the experiences our donors are having.
How many programs and services do you have? How many channels (Web, Social, Mobile, Call Center, Direct Mail, etc.) are you focused on? Do they all have a unified design and experience?
Mission + Design = Intentional experiences
We are clear about our mission. Are we clear about our design?
If not, we aren’t ready to be the digital executive of the future. If we aren’t ready to be a digital executive, we aren’t ready for the future. If we aren’t ready for the future, will we have a relevant job 5 to 10 years from now? Tough questions I know but worth considering.
So here are a couple more of intriguing questions:
- How do we ensure that our donors are having an amazing experience?
- Why make donors cope with the ordinary?
- Why aren’t donors more engaged with both our mission and revenue opportunities?
Our focus and day to day work should be about creating amazing “donor experiences” in this new age of connected donors. What is going on in the rest of the world isn’t lost on our donors. They are judging us based on those experiences. We can bury our head in the sand. That will only get us left behind. Our credibility as a nonprofit is at stake.
What should we focus on? What is amazing? There is actually some simplicity to it and it can be measured.
- How enjoyable are we to donate to?
- How easy are we to do business with?
- How effective are we at meeting donor needs?
Donors expect more from nonprofits more than ever before. So our programs and services have a level of expectation that our nonprofit may not be aware of. How does the experience our donors are having compare to USAA for example? Do you know?
Here is the harsh reality. Donors not only expect better experiences, they believe they are absolutely entitled to them. Will we be intentional in delivering on those expectations? Are we ready to get left behind with stagnant growth if we don’t deliver those experiences? We may not be ready for that but it may already be happening. I encourage you to think about it. It is a good question to ponder.
There is a unique opportunity to create amazing and positive experiences at our offices, on the web, at your call center (if you have one), on smart phones and in our direct mail pieces. Are all of those unified? Is the experience amazing?
That amazing or ordinary (or perhaps even bad) experience will be how your nonprofit is measured in terms of satisfaction or even revenue success. Do you know how your donors feel about the experience they are having with your nonprofit? If not, why not? Are you being intentional about that experience they just had at your office? Is it consistent with the experience they want on your web site?
As a nonprofit executive, you have an amazing opportunity to lead the charge regardless of your role. If you do, you will be a hero. To focus on what needs to be improved, the current donor experiences need to be measured so changes can be proven to make a difference.
Designing and unifying donor experiences will require skillsets that may not exist today. Deciding what else that is being done today that can be stopped so that staff can focus on design, experience mapping and unification efforts will require focus. The constraints of time and money will be important to address early in the transformation efforts.
Here are the key ideas:
- Donor experiences need to be intentionally designed.
- Donors aren’t satisfied with the ordinary and expect more.
- Measuring donor experiences gives benchmarks for how we are doing.
- Creating an intentional focus that also frames out what things to stop is transformative.