WP Remix


We all know the treatment of our organization’s supporters impacts their behavior. We strive for higher renewal rates, more gifts, bigger gifts, etc. and tie it all back to how we treat those who give. Is our receipt timely? Did we thank them properly? Are we sharing how their support made a difference?

The list goes on and on. . .

We often forget, however, another equally important factor: people talk to each other.

I came across a video last week about a customer receiving exemplary customer service at a Marriott hotel. He happens to be a speaker on the topic, and tells the story of an employee named Maria Garcia. He continues to tell the story, partly because it’s his business and also because he was touched by the woman’s good deed. In short, he became an evangelist for Marriott because of a single act of kindness.

I have no idea if this story is 100% accurate, embellished, or even completely fabricated. It really doesn’t matter. The story is the story. Perception is reality. And today many many people have heard about a terrific Marriott employee who went above and beyond the call of duty.

There are plenty of stories, good and bad, about your nonprofit. They’re being told every day by your happy donors, your frustrated donors, and by those who stopped giving because they were fed up with something you did.

It would be wise to keep Maria Garcia’s story in mind when you’re working with others. Your actions, even those which may seem insignificant, will impact you (and your nonprofit) in ways unknown. We expect our board members to ‘share the good word’ about our organizations. We want them to tell others about the good work we do, how great we are, and why they should become involved, too. It would be nice if others did the same.

Why not strive to provide a level of customer service that creates an army of evangelists? The end result is certainly worth the effort. Maria Garcia has been promoted. Marriott is getting free advertising. Your nonprofit might just receive something nice too!

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