6 Mystery Donor Shopping Tests
nonprofit management tips

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.