Typically, I don’t think much about the companies/stores/ vendors with whom I do business. Unless they really antagonize me. Or are especially wonderful to work with.
Waterfield Designs is one such company.
Free Conference Call is another.
SFBags I just love because of their breezy emails, the personal handwritten notes they put into their packages, and the great products they have. Free Conference Call because they are amazing when something goes wrong. Like the other day.
I discovered that my dial-in number (at least the one I had written down) didn’t work. I went on the website and there was a form to fill out. Groan, I thought. This will go nowhere. But to my delight, I got a response within the hour with a truly helpful solution.
My mother taught me to be polite, so I thanked the person who helped me, and in response I got a real live response that didn’t seem canned and appeared interested in ensuring that I had a good experience with Free Conference Call.
It is that sense that you sometimes get that there person helping you really is offering help and that their main desire is to help you have a good experience that turns occasional customers into fans. And fans are what nonprofits need.
The difference between a fan and a donor is that the fan doesn’t just support you, they tell others about the splendidness of your organization. They cheer for your successes and support you through those temporary failures. They care about what you do.
To create fans, you have to care about them. So yes, say thank you, but say it as if you actually mean it. It’s not just the handwritten note that counts, it’s what is said in that note. It doesn’t have to be brilliant or poetic, but it does have to be real.
For a lot of retail businesses, having customers instead of fans is fine. If I need milk or other foodstuffs, I’ll probably go to the nearest market, even if I’m not a fan. But if I am going to donate my hard-earned money or my precious time, I have to care passionately.
And while unrequited love might be the thing of one’s adolescent years, when you grow up what you want is love that is reciprocated; values that are shared; purposes that are matched.
Janet Levine works to help nonprofits go from mired to inspired. Learn how at www.janetlevineconsulting.com. While there, sign up for the newsletter.
And consider how you can translate your passion for your organization into a Comp
ellingConversation (for Fundraisers)—available at Amazon