Collecting testimonials can be simple if you have a plan.
Testimonials are complimentary words about your organization and its services, offered by your clients, volunteers, and those you serve. They are a powerful tool in your promotional materials because they provide credibility and put a face on your business.
(Testimonials differ from endorsements, which are supportive statements from a celebrity or expert in your field.)
If you’re not in the habit of collecting testimonials, start right now. Even if you already have some, use these four steps to develop a systematic testimonial-gathering strategy.
Anytime a customer thanks you for your service, writes you an e-mail of congratulations, or sings your company’s praises in a telephone call, respond like this: “I appreciate those kind words, Mr. Client (or Ms. Volunteer). May I use them in a testimonial for our nonprofit?”
Put together a short questionnaire that solicits customer feedback. Use constructive criticism to improve your business, and use positive comments as testimonials.
Ask beneficiaries to give you a testimonial. Most are thrilled that you want to quote them.
Hire a freelancer to collect testimonials for you. This is especially effective when you don’t have time to track them down yourself, or when you want customers to speak freely and honestly.
Record every testimonial you receive, its source, and the date. Have the customer sign a release. Keep everything handy in a file. When you’re ready to develop new promotional materials, you’ll have a stack of testimonials to include at very little cost or effort.
An added bonus: re-reading testimonials reveals your organization’s strengths as seen through the eyes of your beneficiaries, partners, and volunteers. It shows what benefits to emphasize in future promotions
More on using testimonials in your promotions
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