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Top 10 Benefits of Providing Exceptional Nonprofit Customer Service

By: Elaine Fogel


Nonprofit customer service. What’s that? Well, the same as it is in the business world, except that most nonprofit “customers” represent stakeholders like donors, volunteers, members, and clients.

So, why do nonprofits need to focus on customer service when these “stakeholders” aren’t traditional “buyers?” Because, like other organization types, customer service excellence ties into their customers’ brand experiences and contributes to their organizations’ sustainability and success.

Makes sense, right? But, in my experience, not enough nonprofits are customer oriented and “get” why it’s so important.

As I head out next week to do two days of nonprofit customer service training, I thought it would be à propos to share some of my ideas.


10. Increases customer (stakeholder) retention and loyalty.

9. Improves sustainability and growth.

8. Gives your organization a competitive advantage.

7. Reduces workloads and expenses.

6. Reduces employee churn.

5. Increases morale.

4. Reduces stress and friction.

3. Increases efficiency and compliance.

2. Builds your brand.

1. Builds trust.

It takes a customer orientation—focused on all stakeholders—to truly create a memorable and beloved brand. Some nonprofits that receive government contracts to serve specific individuals or groups, may not view these clients as customers because the government is paying the bill. In this case, the government IS the customer. But then, so are the clients receiving programs and services.

Nonprofit clients may become volunteers or donors. They can serve as brand champions for your cause. And, even if they don’t, you wouldn’t want them complaining to your government liaison that your nonprofit sucks and didn’t treat them with respect! So much for future contracts.

So, put your nonprofit customers at the center of your mission. They make your good work possible.

If you work or volunteer for a nonprofit organization, is it customer oriented?

This article was originally published by Elaine Fogel

Published: August 21, 2014

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