The Mikuska Group  

Engagement audit

You may think your organization is responsive to donors, welcomes them, promptly acknowledges gifts and is great at engagement and stewardship. Your donors may have an entirely different experience. How can you find out?

Ask several friends or colleagues from other organizations to help you perform an engagement audit. Ask each of them to donate or make inquires about donating, by phone, in person, by e-mail or through online donations. Essentially, the group should go through all the ways that people can donate to the organization, even through events (galas, runs, walks). Then ask them to evaluate their experiences. (You can offer to do the same for their organization.)

  • How are they received in person? on the phone? via e-mail?
  • Do frontline staff know about the mission? Do they know what happens with donations? Are they customer-friendly?
  • Are calls to senior people returned?
  • How friendly and up-to-date is your website? Is the donate button prominent? Is the donation form easy to fill out?
  • Are gifts acknowledged promptly, accurately and with a CRA-approved receipt?
  • Are donors welcomed as trusted friends or as ATMs?
  • Is there evidence of good stewardship and communications?

Use what you find out to improve your donors’ experience and engagement. External audits like these can be powerful when showing others in your organization what constitutes a culture of engagement.

Julie Mikuska


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