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First Impressions? Important… Lasting Impact? Vital

“What’s that new upscale grocery store like?” asked a friend from a different neighborhood. I told him it was great and that they went way out of their way to make sure the experience in their store was a pleasing one.

It got me to thinking about how a negative response from just one customer can cost a nonprofit.

Have you ever considered the lasting impact of a negative response from a single donor or recipient of your services and how it can negatively impact your cause?

I’m sure each of you has your own horror story to tell.

Yes, we can invest time, money and energy into the things we believe will create great first impressions. Things like professional logo design, a great looking website or a quality first-time donor experience. Yet, it’s possible from just one less-than-excellent experience with your nonprofit to spoil all of your efforts for the foreseeable future.

There is a flip side to this. That’s where you and your organization are built for lasting impact. It’s when people are willing to go way across town to frequent the new store in your neighborhood because they know, for example, that “the produce is fresher there.”

Remember, first impressions may get you that first donation, but what happens next is what keeps the donor coming back—and making that all-important second gift.

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