Okay, so I was lamenting a little following my recent engagement with an organisation's supporter care team of which I decided to resume my support.
As I said at the time it wasn't a bad experience at all, but my disappointment related to the fact that as a previous, and dare I say generous supporter of more than a decade - I thought it would have been 'nice' to be recognised in that way.
You can read what I had to say about it all here
Practically I thought to myself afterwards, maybe the person just didn't do the research ahead of calling me or didn't have time - all very possible in a busy supporter care team. But, now that they are aware, I thought to myself I might receive the confirmation letter that does acknowledge that I returned to the fold and resumed my monthly commitment.
Okay, so I am here to tell you that no - that was not the case either. There was nothing beyond the usual generated letter thanking me, confirming the details of my regular monthly gift and briefly explaining the difference it will make. Which I knew anyway as I had supported before!
So why am I so disappointed. Am I disappointed as a supporter or a fundraiser - probably both.
I don't expect the CEO to knock on my door with balloons that say thank you - honestly I don't - but I think what this experience clearly demonstrates is just how much of what we do is automated and homogenous and that this is at the expense of genuine, tailored supporter care and relationship building.
I would have hoped that the person I spoke to would have taken note that I had resumed my support and that there would be a way to personalise the letter I received - or even if that wasn't possible (and I am giving some benefit of the doubt on that one), a post it note, a compliments slip or a even a PS. just acknowledging that fact and saying thank you for coming back.
Though my interaction with this organisation was paused transactionally, it doesn't mean that I wasn't watching in the wings, watching the progress. As much as some people question what they are lapsing from in the 'I didn't have a relationship with you in the first place' way, I can tell you from experience that just because I stopped my support for a while, I still felt like a supporter. I still certainly cared. And I don't think that is unique to me.
As a fundraiser I know how rare it is relatively speaking for supporters to resume their support, so as a supporter who has done just that I wanted to feel valued, special and have that fact acknowledged. It's there in my data, it was there in the conversation I had it was just no where to be seen when it came to the confirmation and to me that is another missed opportunity to make me, the donor feel special.
Thanks as ever for stopping by.