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What would you do if you knew?

Best-selling marketing author Seth Godin recently wrote in his daily blog:


If you knew,

and you could see the world through the eyes of the customer,

and you really cared…

What would you do?

That’s a simple test of creating excellence.

So, if I’m on hold for 56 minutes with Orbitz, does the CEO know? Is that ever a desired outcome?

Does the engineer who shipped a hackable voting machine know that it’s hackable? 

The plumber who finished the job and left the hot/cold controls in reverse position … did he care enough?

Excellence cuts through bureaucracy and status quo and excuses and asks a simple question:

What would you do if you knew?


What does this have to do with donors?

When you give your donors an exceptional service experience they donate more, are more loyal and share their experiences with their friends. Great! That’s what every charity strives for.

But bad experiences drive your donors away – faster than you might think. Even if people love your mission, some will walk away after just one bad service experience, even more after several bad experiences.

Maximising lifetime value is about raising money from your most satisfied donors. But as fundraisers we need to know conclusively what makes a donor satisfied.

The two-factor theory of motivation and satisfaction

Frederick Herzberg, an American psychologist, first published the Two Factor Theory back in the 1950s. He found there are two types of factors that influence motivation and satisfaction among people:

  1. Hygiene factors
  2. Motivation factors

If you were to apply his theory to donors, it would look something like this:

Hygiene factors:

  • Easy website navigation
  • Easy to use donation page
  • Quick and successful resolution to a complaint
  • Phone call picked up promptly
  • Correct spelling of a donor’s name … to list just a few.

Hygiene factors are mostly about procedures. Donors don’t need to be dazzled but instead want to be able to easily make their donation, know that their donation went through online, know that their credit card information is secure and so on.

Hygiene factors don’t necessarily attract new donors, but if done poorly, can reduce satisfaction and drive your existing donors away from your charity.

Motivation factors:

  • Thank donors (personal letter, telephone call)
  • Have a solid welcoming process (multi-channel to suit your donor)
  • Show the great things that the donors’ contributions made possible.

Motivation factors are those experiences that surprise and delight your donors. And done well, can set your charity apart from your competitors. This is where the donor magic happens.

How to make sure that you know

Stewardship Tracker is an internationally recognised donor service platform which helps charities find out how their supporters feel about their service experience.

Launched in the UK 10 years ago – and now available from Pareto in Australia – Stewardship Tracker focuses on the aspects of donor service that are the most meaningful. These are the things that your charity needs to get right up front if you are to retain your existing donors and build their lifetime value.

Stewardship Tracker helps your charity track whether it’s delivering on its most basic service promise:

  • We’ll provide solid service delivery
  • We’ll thank you properly
  • We’ll update you on the impact of your gift so you know where your money goes
  • If things go wrong, we’ll fix them.

Donors want to support our causes, but they also want their support to be seamless, so they can get on with their lives. So, our job as relationship builders is to eliminate the obstacles that might prevent them from doing that:

  • When you don’t thank a donor, they wonder if the donation was received.
  • If you don’t feed back on the impact of their gift, they wonder if they made a mistake and that their money isn’t being well spent.
  • If they can’t donate quickly online or over the phone – their irritation levels rise. And their satisfaction with your organisation falls.

Exceptional customer service is about reducing the donor effort across all service points.

That’s why Stewardship Tracker is such a powerful tool. It will help you to identify and meet fundamental donor service expectations consistently. Because when it comes to generating outstanding donor satisfaction and loyalty, nothing special in your donor journey will count unless all of the core fundamentals of your donor journey are running smoothly.

If you would like to discuss our main Stewardship Tracker we’d be delighted to talk to you. Please call us on 02 8823 5800 or email:

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