Turning a negative into a positive | npENGAGE

Turning a negative into a positive

By on Feb 28, 2011


“Have you had experience converting a participant who had a negative experience into a fundraiser the following year?”  I love this question. It came  up in last week’s webinar;  Five Questions for Turning Participants into Fundraisers.  Thank you Maria for asking a great question!

I’m a firm believer that if someone is taking the time to share their negative experience with you, then they’re providing you with the opportunity to mend fences.  When this happened to me,  it was usually a simple misunderstanding.  The participant wasn’t given the correct information.  It’s important to listen and let the participant vent and share the entire story with you.  Let’s face it, we all need to complain when we feel we where wronged.  It’s human nature.  Once the participant has relayed the situation, it’s time to resolve it.  Most situations can be resolved, because when it’s all said and done, the participant just wants to feel acknowledged and appreciated for their hard work.

Now, that the situation has been corrected and the participant feels better,  how do we get them to come back and fundraise next year?  That’s actually an easy answer.  If you’ve done a good job correcting the misunderstanding, the participants leaves feeling grateful for your help and appreciated.  Why wouldn’t they come back next year, they ended up having a great experience.  But, why not go the extra mile and let the individual know that if they need anything they should contact you directly.  Also, when you begin your recruitment efforts the following year, call them personally and invite them back.  What do you think?  What ideas do you have?

I’ll be sharing more thoughts through about last week’s webinar, it’s one of my favorite sessions.  Special thanks to Jeff Shuck from Event 360 for sharing tons of helpful information.  If you missed it no worries.  You can download the sides and a recording.  I know it’s tough to listen to a recording, but it’s a good one.  I encourage you to check it out.


Amy Braiterman, principal strategy consultant at Blackbaud, supports customers with their peer-to-peer fundraising events with a process she refers to as “data-driven strategy.” Amy’s data driven strategy analyzes how effective event participants are using online fundraising tools and takes those results to develop an event fundraising plan. Prior to joining Blackbaud, Amy earned her fundraising stripes managing events for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Alzheimer’s Association and Share Our Strength. She shares her fundraising know how here on npENGAGE, by hosting educational webinars and speaking at customer conferences

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