How Zappos Transformed Donor Service at the ASPCA
Friday, August 4th, 2017
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM: Breakout 7
So just how DO you cultivate relationships with over 300,000 monthly donors and 1 million annual givers? This is precisely the challenge faced by the Donor Stewardship Team at the ASPCA.
Some of the obstacles included:
1. Identifying those donors who actually want to be cultivated and engage in a relationship with us.
2. Providing a personal experience with each donor with whom we interact and leaving them feeling like they are a true and valued partner in our work.
3. Offering the appropriate benefits (i.e. 'access and crap') without blowing the budget or stepping on the toes of the Major Gifts and Events departments.
4. Measuring and demonstrating the impact on retention in order to justify spending on this essential line item.
5. Having a massive brand that is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to customer engagement.
In this session, we'll share how an experience I had with a Zappos customer service agent turned the ASPCA's Donor Stewardship program on its head. Basically,I hung up the phone grinning over my free shipping and friendly interaction (as I'm sure many of you reading this have experienced after calling Zappos.) They made me feel special! I told everyone I knew about it and have shopped there ever since. I just kept thinking, "How do we give our donors this experience? How do we make our donors feel special (because they are!) If we could crack that nut, retention would be through the roof!" I dreamt of donors telling their family and friends of their wonderful experiences with the ASPCA.
But,saddled with a brand-new database, a not-so-awesome inbound call center, and a team of just 5 to manage this and other projects, we had our work cut out for us, to say the least!
So, here's what we did: My entire team read Tony Hsieh's book, Delivering Happiness and got right to work on blowing up every aspect of our donor service and rebuilding anew. I kept going back to that call that I had and I encouraged team members to call Zappos weekly and experience the wonder for themselves. Together we brainstormed ways to bring better service to our donors. Every member of the team brought new and different suggestions and a sense of ownership around the project grew. (As a manager, I had employees who were more engaged in their work than ever before -- what an unexpected benefit of the entire exercise that made for a better outcome overall!)
Beyond the walls of our department, our timing couldn't have been better. Brand, Culture and Core Values had just taken hold at the A and our ideas were widely accepted. Focusing on who we are as an organization kept us on track and gave us the guidelines for crafting our messaging and communications with our donors. Nothing was left untouched: call center scripts and agent trainings were completely revamped, templates were rewritten, acknowledgements were overhauled, volunteers were recruited to make thank you calls, virtual visits to our shelter and hospital were created to give donors insider access to our work and as a result, we're getting happier donors (oh,yeah, donor surveys were implemented too!) and retention is slowly improving.
The other awesome result that bubbled up from our efforts was a new laser focus on stewarding donors with a sharper eye on mining for planned gifts and really securing that pipeline for legacy giving. Nosa and I will just touch on this in our presentation. It's a whole other presentation unto itself.
We will share 15 practical ways that organizations of any size can get right to work on making changes that will make a difference for their donors and for their retention rates! Nosa and I worked together at Sanky for several years and served some very small non-profits. We became experts in stretching budget dollars and understand the challenges for programs of every shape and size. We are so excited to share our experience.
I'm trying to figure out how we can include a donor in our prog
Learning Outcome #1
By attending this session participants will learn: 15 easy and budget-friendly ways to improve stewardship right away. These ideas apply to organizations of any size and can be put to work on Monday morning! By borrowing basic principles from our for-profit counterparts, we can create strong, lasting relationships that will provide a foundation for revenue for our organizations for years to come.
Learning Outcome #2
By attending this session participants will learn: How to gather donor feedback to assess the effectiveness of your donor stewardship program and then how to use that feedback to make the case for increased investment in this vital aspect of your direct response program.
Learning Outcome #3
By attending this session participants will learn: How to work with outside vendors and get them to be a true extension of your team. This is much harder than you might expect and it's something we are vigilant about with our vendor partners. In many ways, we work to steward them as well so that they, like the donors, feel a vital part of the ASPCA and share in our commitment to our work.
We'll also demonstrate how to navigate the waters with your internal partners like communications, legal and media teams to create win-win situations for all involved.
To enhance the attendee's learning experience, we are looking for a variety of presentation styles. Please indicate your style: An interactive experience