Before I began fundraising in nonprofits, I worked as a server in restaurants.  I learned the ins and outs of the business environment, figured out how to make good tips, and enjoyed interacting with all kinds of people.

Most importantly, I discovered a critical principle in managing relationships and clients’ brand experience.

In restaurants, patrons don’t get the difference between the front-of-the-house and the back-of-the-house.  It’s all the same to them. So, as a server, you never blame the cook.  You take responsibility for the patron’s entire experience with the business.

The same is true for nonprofits. Donors, volunteers, and clients don’t care about how your departments are divided or who’s in charge of what.  They view your nonprofit as a total organization, not a compilation of different components.

So, you’ve got to take responsibility for your donor’s full experience! Apologize – even if it’s not your fault.  Do it – even if it’s not in your job description. 

What do you think?  Does my perspective resonate with your experience?  Please leave a comment!

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