The DonorSearch “Secret Fundraising Weapon” (Hint: It’s Not AI)

Most every organization believes it has a competitive advantage, something it does better than anyone else. (If a company doesn’t have a competitive advantage, why be in business at all?) Likewise, nonprofits often possess a competitive advantage in whatever area their good works fall in, even if that advantage is that no one else is willing to help.

When we speak to clients, some of them immediately identify DonorSearch AI as our competitive advantage. That’s understandable. Our flagship platform’s ease of use, impactful and accurate scoring, and compatibility with a wide range of software packages popular with nonprofits—including DonorPerfect—offer a real difference-maker to their work.

But for all its power, artificial intelligence was strictly in the realm of science fiction when DonorSearch’s true competitive advantage took shape. With that hint, it’s easy to assume we consider our founding principle to be that an individual’s engagement and affinity to your organization plays a larger role in their decision to donate than the simple capacity to give—aka wealth.

Engagement is widely studied and focused upon in both the workplace and in schools, but it took DonorSearch to open the eyes of nonprofits to the importance of measuring engagement and affinity within communities. Although our approach to empowering new levels of fundraising success is a strong contender, it is nonetheless nosed out by something practically every client experiences early on when partnering with our fundraising experts.

The answer?

Our secret fundraising weapon is our world-class customer service. Unfortunately, customer service is an afterthought for most American companies these days. Customer support scores are nearing an all-time low. Consultant and author Amas Tenumah explainsthat 80% of organizations think they provide a good level of customer service, while only 8% of their customers agree. This massive gulf can be explained in part by the adoption of AI chatbots to serve as customer service reps, which Tenumah claims have a 75% failure rate.

DonorSearch may embrace AI in our products, but we’ve never lost the human touch in customer service. Instead, we pride ourselves on being responsive to our client needs. Executive Vice President and Co-Owner Sarah TeDesco explains, “DonorSearch was founded as a family business. From the outset, we viewed our clients as extended family, like the many aunts, uncles, and cousins we recently celebrated holidays with. Over time our team has grown just as our client base has, but we’ve been careful to maintain the same culture of responsive service over the years. The next client that comes to DonorSearch will be treated the same as our very first client.”

To this point, one of our oldest clients can attest to the fact DonorSearch provided them with an unparalleled level of customer service. Mark Defilippis, Director of Prospect Development for the Nature Conservancy, has been with us since the beginning. He explains that our customer service approach is one of the primary reasons he recommends DonorSearch to peers, explaining, “It’s the quality of the staff of support folks, the team that is behind the actual data… working with those people to solve our biggest challenges is sometimes more important than the actual data we’re getting, and having good people to do that with is really invaluable.”

Zooming out, the DonorSearch commitment to customer service truly shines in three distinct areas:

Initial Set-Up

Too many nonprofit have languished working with vendors who promise big results—yet are hard to reach after the platform is in place. Not us. We recognize that our tools are useless unless your team understands how to use them and how to get the most accurate results in the shortest amount of time. Sarah Richards, Research Analyst for Dynamic Catholic, says it best: “At DonorSearch, you’re not just purchasing a product. You’re choosing a partner to help in your fundraising journey.”

Insights and Continual Improvement

Although the data we place at the fingertips of each client is powerful enough to revolutionize their fundraising approach, we have even more internally to share based on the experiences and feedback of thousands of clients throughout the nonprofit sector. We use this information to provide insights to our clients and continually improve our products.

Bill Mitchell, Senior Associate Vice President of Research and Prospect Management at the Rutgers University Foundation, explains: “The team will take the time to sit with you and go through what they are seeing in terms of the drivers of the model, why they think that’s relevant, and also will call on their expertise from across the industry to give you context for the data that you’re seeing.”

Support Integrating Workflows

The best data in the world still isn’t very useful if it doesn’t fit in with your normal workflows. DonorSearch strives to form partnerships and alliances with other vendors to integrate our tools and data into the platforms your team already uses. But as with any software solution, sometimes the actual integration isn’t as simple as pressing a button. When this occurs, our team works hard to assist the integration process, removing barriers holding your organization back from experiencing the true power of DonorSearch AI.

Ultimately, DonorSearch has come a long way from its founding. Even so, we treat every client and every team member as if they are our family. Yes, DonorSearch is an AI leader, offering incredible levels of actionable intelligence, but it’s all backed up by this warm, family-mentality approach to business that puts our customers first.

To learn how customer support—our true secret fundraising weapon—can empower your team, contact DonorSearch for a demo today. And if you are an experienced non-profit professional interested in helping new nonprofits build for future success every day, consider a career with DonorSearch.

Additional Resources

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