In this survey, Campbell Rinker asked a series of questions of non-profits about their primary donor/member management software. On page 3, the following question is asked:

“If an organization just like yours was thinking about adopting the product [you use] and they

asked for your advice, would you recommend they adopt it?”

The results were that 27% said “no,” and another 26% were “unsure.” That’s over half(!!) of the respondents saying no or unsure to whether  they’d recommend the software they use to a like organization.

This is absolutely stunning! Can you imagine any other product where the “nos” and “unsures” for recommendation outnumber the “yeses?”

What’s amazing about this is that it really isn’t the product that is the problem; it’s the users. Yes, I know it’s sacrilege to suggest that maybe there’s a user problem here, but it’s simply not possible that HALF of the products on the market are bad. And that suggests that we’ve got a user issue.

Donor and member management programs are complex. They require serious attention and management to make them effective. And my experience is that too often, the reason a program is “failing” to work is equal parts software and user. I think this survey reinforces that view.