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NonprofitMBA Podcast 1.1: Keeping it Personal As Your Nonprofit Grows

Podcast: How to Keep that Personal, One to One Relationship with the People You Service (Your Customers) As Your Nonprofit Grows.

The Nonprofit MBA’s purpose is to provide new business insights and fresh creative ideas for Executive Directors and their teams that will help them improve their organizations.

Transcript and Summary of Podcast Below:

Todays Guest: Pierrette Downer , Founder and Executive Director of BFRIN

Pierrette Downer, Founder and Executive Director of BFRIN (Being Fitted Right IS Necessary) talk about the changes she made when her Nonprofit grew much bigger and she noticed that clients were being treated as numbers and not people. 

Introduction of Stephen Halasnik

Welcome, everyone. My name is Stephen Halasnik and I am a CoFounder and Managing Partner of Financing Solution. Financing Solutions is the leading provider of Lines of Credit to Nonprofits. On a personal level, I have a 25-year career in building companies and I have the privilege to speak with nonprofit Executive Directors on a daily basis. If you like today’s podcast, please feel free to share it with a friend.

Introduction of Pierrette

Today, I am excited to be speaking with Pierrette Downer , Founder and Executive Director of BFRIN which stands for Being Fitted Right IS Necessary …. Pierrette Graduated Valedictorian from Bartram Academy of Business and Finance in 1994 and has committed herself to the humanities as well as research and implementation initiatives targeting the underserved community for the past 20+ years throughout the Tri-State Area of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware as it pertains to counseling, breast cancer support as a Certified Mastectomy Fitter as well as through research and statistics projects.  During her tenure as Administrator at Temple University Hospital in the Community Development Division for 10+ years, she was successful in procuring and maintaining the CDC’s fiscal sponsor serving the redevelopment of the Tioga-Nicetown area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In 2008, Ms. Downer, along with her family, established BFRIN, a nonprofit organization which continues to educate breast cancer survivors as well as doctors, therapists and various hospital personnel in underserved communities to understand how adjuvant therapies procure the Survivors need for cosmesis which assists survivors along their breast cancer journey.

Pierrette Welcome to the Nonprofit MBA podcast.

Today, what we are going to discuss is: How to keep that personal, one to one relationship with the people you service (your customers) as your nonprofit grows. It’s an area that Pierrette feels BFRIN excels at and she has taken steps to ensure that the customer experience stays personal.

Summary of Podcast:

  • She started BFRIN because of something that happened with her loved Aunt when she had breast cancer.
  • She noticed that clients were being treated as numbers when her staff was not using the clients’ names.
  • Pierrette noticed over time more and more that they had lost touch with the personal side of the nonprofit.
  • Pierrette herself noticed that she didn’t know people’s names.
  • When her staff knew the client’s name, she felt they went that extra distance for the clients and she also felt that there was a warm feeling.
  • Make sure that everyone in the organization knows your customer satisfaction strategy and message.
  • Work as a group and make things personal.
  • The first step was to make sure you knew people’s names. The next step was that everyone in the organization recognized how important personalization meant to the culture of BFRIN. The third was that everyone is on a team and needed to be cross-trained. Fours were that each client file was exactly alike and included personal information that everyone knew was important.
  • They started always doing satisfaction surveys. Started more open-ended questions instead of scale questions.
  • They are also meeting with Dr’s and Dr’s are very concerned with doing a good job. BFRIN is really applying the same personal message with educating Dr’s.
  • BFRIN and Pierrette like the new personal approach than the numbers game before. The work has come full circle to what it used to be.
  • Constantly assess yourself and your employees in their employee reviews. Is customer satisfaction being talking about and evaluated on?
  • Customer satisfaction has to start at the top

NonprofitMBA Podcast 1.2: What To Do When Your Nonprofits Mission and Operations Go Adrift

More Nonprofit MBA podcasts and articles can be found here 

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