We've covered a lot of ground since we started this series back in November! From Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman in First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently, we've learned that "accuracy" and "availability" are two things customers and donors take for granted. We've also learned that truly committed donors, real advocates, are created when they feel they are "partnered" with the organization and when they look to that organization for advice.

It seems that most of our fundraising is focused on the first two attributes while the last two all too often seem expendable. I believe the Gallup organization now gives us objective research to turn our typical approach on its head!

But HOW do you create systems that foster donor advocates? How can you create an environment of donors beating down your doors to give you money AND telling all their friends about how great your nonprofit it is? Fortunately for us, Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba have created a veritable handbook on how to do just that: Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force.

CREATING DONOR EVANGELISTS
After studying businesses that create customers that evangelize for them, McConnell and Huba distill their findings into six Creating Customer Evangelist themes. These themes are:
1. Customer Plus-Delta: Understanding the Love
2. Napsterize Your Knowledge: Give to Receive
3. Build the Buzz: Spreading the Word
4. Create Community: Bringing Customers Together
5. Bite-Size Chunks: From Sampling to Evangelism
6. Create a Cause: When Business is Good

Following their findings, we create DONOR evangelists when we:
• know what our donors like about us and what they think we need to improve;
• give away our knowledge and information in ways that are easy to receive and easy to pass on;
• are intentional about spreading our story word-of-mouth;
• do all we can to foster relationships between us and our donors and, more importantly, between the donors themselves;
• find ways to allow donors and prospective donors to get a sample taste of either our "product" or of the experience of being a donor to our organization;
• are intentional about being passionate about our organization's mission--so passionate that it becomes a cause--and make it easy for donors to join our cause.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?
So what are you going to do with this exciting information? Are you convinced that creating donor evangelists is important to your nonprofit? Or are you already attracting more new donors than you can handle? How are these six themes going to change or fine tune your approach to fundraising? All six are ways of thinking that once learned can become habitual and part of your staff's or organization's culture.

Reply to this message or email me at marc@fundraisingcoach.com and let me know what changes you plan on implementing. Also let me know if you're interested in having me coach you or your staff through some of those changes.

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