Fundraising Secret #23: Test your own system

On a whim, I decided to go through the process of buying my own Ask Without Fear! fundraising ebook from a new listing I'd posted on Craigslist.

Oy. What an experience.

  • First, I found out I couldn't buy my own book from the seller's PayPal or GoogleCheckout account. The system didn't like that.
  • Then when I did get to pay for the book, my credit card on my personal account was recorded as "expired" with an expiration date of 2006! Weird.
  • I finally did get to pay for my own ebook. I immediately got a GoogleCheckout receipt.

Good so far.

But I've received no email with the link to download the book. It's now been 23 minutes and no link!

I have an email into my service provider to see if the hang up is on their end. And I know that Gmail has been delivering my email 2 and 3 days after they were sent.

But I'm still stressed out. What if I wanted the book NOW? This isn't the kind of customer experience I want to offer.

So I went through my normal Fundraising Coach Store to see what the process is like there. It looks like this is going more smoothly.

By now, some of you are saying, "What's the point, Marc? I read your blog to learn about fundraising, not to hear about you buying your own book."

Good question. Hopefully you can see the direct application: when was the last time you made a donation to your organization through your own website?

Remember, Fundraising Secret #19: Make it easy? One of the best ways to test if it is easy, is to go through the process yourself and monitor your emotions.

  • Where do you get stressed?
  • Where do you get annoyed by the amount of personal information you're required to give?
  • What kind of verification or response do you get after giving?
  • What kind do you wish you'd received?
  • How can you make the process quicker and easier for the donor?

Here's to hoping your giving process is faster than my Craigslist! 🙂

[Update: it took 87 minutes for the download link to be emailed to me. Not exactly "instant" by any stretch of the imagination! I'm working with my shopping cart folks to drastically shorten that time!]

About Marc A. Pitman

Marc A. Pitman is the CEO of The Concord Leadership Group, the author of Ask Without Fear! and director of The Nonprofit Academy. A coach to leaders around the world, Marc's expertise and enthusiasm engages audiences and has caught the attention of media organizations as diverse as Al Jazeera and Fox News. Marc’s experience also includes pastoring a Vineyard church, managing a gubernatorial campaign, and teaching internet marketing and fundraising at colleges and universities. He is the husband to his best friend and the father of three amazing kids. And if you drive by him on the road, he’ll be singing 80’s tunes loud enough to embarrass his family! You can connect with him on Google+, on Twitter @marcapitman, and like "Ask Without Fear!" on Facebook.
To get his free ebook on 21 ways to get board members engaged with fundraising, go to


  1. Elizabeth says:

    Marc, just so that you know, buying "Ask Without Fear" as a kindle edition was a smooth process, without stress of any kind. I had the entire book in my hands (on my Kindle) within two minutes of surfing to Amazon, and was reading it shortly thereafter! Thanks for making it available on Kindle, and thanks for the great information~

  2. Thanks for your kind words, Elizabeth! 🙂

    Did you see that the reviews are now showing on the paperback and the Kindle? So cool!

What would you add?