6 mystery donor shopping tests

One method of determining donor satisfaction is the mystery shopping test, which uses phone, email and mail to gain information about donors’ experiences with a nonprofit.

In his book “The Zen of Fundraising” Ken Burnett reports that tests conducted in Australia, New Zealand and England uncovered discouraging facts about one-time credit card giving, setting up a monthly donor gift, a donor request for specific information and a donor inquiry about a bequest. Burnett said the following information came to light:

  • The level of failure of organizations to respond was high across all tests, up to 20 percent.
  • Nearly half of nonprofits don’t promote regular giving to someone who has given a one-time gift.
  • Up to 40 percent of organizations don’t thank donors when they set up a regular gift.
  • It’s not unusual for nonprofits to take weeks, even months, to respond to a simple request.
  • Five nonprofits that sent receipts of confirmations never actually took the donation from the credit card.
  • Only 22 percent of organizations said thank-you to donors who suggested they might like to leave a bequest, 36 percent explained the difference between pecuniary and residuary requests and 31 percent did not respond at all to requests for information.