What Netflix’s New Password Sharing Policy Can Teach You About Best Serving Your Nonprofit Donors

Samantha Ste Marie
Netflix has started rolling out their new anti-password sharing policy and it has caused some serious customer backlash. Here's what nonprofits can learn from Netflix's mistakes.

There have been whispers over the last few years about how Netflix will one day soon start cracking down on password sharing.

The whispers have been going on for so long that most people started to believe the day would never come.

Well, that day is here… in some countries

On February 9th, 2023, Netflix officially rolled out their new password sharing policy in Canada (and a few other countries), which left many subscribers confused and shocked. After years (we’re talking 10+ years), of using Netflix in any location and at any time, many people were left wondering how this new policy would impact them.

In short:

Netflix is now positioning themselves as a streaming service that is purchased on a per household basis. It can no longer be shared between multiple locations.

Each account holder is required to login to their netflix account at their primary location, via their wifi, every 31 days to avoid their device being blocked from the service.

Now, if you are a Netflix user, you might be wondering about:

  • How to use your Netflix account at your cottage during the summer months.

These are valid questions that are circling the internet in DROVES.

Thousands and thousands of customers are flocking to the customer service lines and canceling their accounts because:

  • They disagree with the changes

These rules and policies may, and most likely will, evolve overtime. However, at this moment in time, this is what we know and this is the feedback that is being voiced by customers.

What can you learn from Netflix’s mistakes and apply to how you treat, engage with, and retain your donors?

Here is what you can learn from the backlash from the new Netflix password sharing policy:

It’s crucial to know and understand your donors so you can make decisions that continue to keep them invested

Donor behavior is constantly evolving and it’s important to stay on top of their behaviors so you can meet them where they’re at.

Are they donating more online than in person? Is there one social platform they are more drawn toward? What motivates them? How do they make buying decisions?

Knowledge is power and it is no different when it comes to attracting donors to your mission. Get to know the ins and outs of what makes your donors tick so you can successfully offer them an amazing experience with your nonprofit.

Gathering feedback and making sure your donors understand that they’re truly valued

Just like we gather feedback from customers who buy products, it’s important to gather feedback from your donors about their overall experiences with your nonprofit:

  • Was your donation form easy to use?

Donors want to know that they matter, which means sharing how they are actually helping your mission and taking action on feedback that they give you about their experiences with your organization… Good and bad.

So what if they have to login every month and have to pay more for our service. It’s just business.

Show your donors that they matter and aren’t just another dollar in your bank account.

Clear communication and transparency is key to build trust with your donors

Don’t leave anything to the imagination. If what you’re communicating is causing more questions than answers… It’s time to step back and figure out how to better communicate the message.

Be clear about your future plans for your mission. Be transparent about where their donations are going and how they’re being used. Share your impact and accomplishments so they know they are supporting a cause that aligns with their own personal goals (giving back, being part of something bigger, etc).

Donors want ease and convenience

The last thing a donor wants is a donation form with 20 fields that has them spending multiple minutes scrolling and manually inputting information. Less form fields means more convenience. If Netflix has taught us anything, convenience means more customers… Or more donors for your mission.

You might be sitting there thinking:

“Ok, I understand what you’re saying but how do I actually get to know my donors, gather feedback from them, and potentially make changes without causing a negative reaction?”

We have you covered!

Let’s take everything we’ve just learned from our friends at Netflix and apply to how you can actually have a positive impact on your donor’s experiences with your nonprofit.

Get to know and understand your donors so they remain invested. Here’s how to conduct donor research:

Conducting target donor research involves gathering information about the people who are most likely to be interested in donating to your mission. Here are some steps you can take to conduct target donor research:

Define your nonprofit mission:

Clearly define what your nonprofit mission is, and what problem it is solving in the world. This will help you further understand how you can position it to potential donors since they want to know that they are helping to solve a problem. 

Create donor personas:

Create fictional profiles of your ideal donors, including demographic information like age, gender, income, education, and occupation, as well as psychographic information like interests, values, and behaviors.

This will help you get a clear picture of who your target donor is, and what motivates them.

Conduct surveys and focus groups:

Surveys and focus groups can help you gather feedback directly from your potential donors. Ask questions about their preferences, habits, and motivations related to your mission. You can also use this information to refine your donor personas over time.

Analyze other nonprofits in your space:

Analyze other nonprofits in your space and the donors they are currently trying to attract. Look at their websites, social media profiles, and donor reviews/testimonials to gain insight into their ideal donors and what they are looking for in a nonprofit mission and donor experience.

Use data analytics:

Use data analytics tools to track website traffic and user behavior. This can help you identify patterns and trends in your audience’s behavior and preferences.

By following these steps, you can gather valuable information about your ideal donor audience so you can understand how to give them the best donor experience possible.

Gather feedback and make sure your donors know that their feedback matters by applying what they’ve said. Here’s how to gather and use their feedback:

Gathering feedback from donors is an important aspect of improving your nonprofit and providing an exceptional donor experience. Here are some methods for gathering feedback from your donors:

Alright, now that you’ve gathered some juicy donor feedback, let’s dive into what you can actually DO with that feedback:

Develop an action plan

Based on the feedback and analysis, develop an action plan to address the issues identified. This may involve changes to your donation forms, updates to your website, or improvements in customer service.

Implement changes

Implement the changes you have identified, and monitor the results. It is important to communicate these changes to your donors and show that you are taking their feedback seriously.

Follow up

Follow up with donors to see if the changes have had a positive impact on their experience. Use their feedback to continue to make improvements.

By utilizing donor feedback to improve their experience, you can build a loyal donor base and standout from other nonprofits.

Build trust through clear communication and transparency, here’s how you can communicate future changes with your donors:

Implementing changes can be a delicate process, as you want to make sure that you are not upsetting your current donor base. Here are some tips to help you implement changes smoothly:

Communicate clearly:

Communication is key when making changes. Make sure to clearly communicate what changes are being made, why they are being made, and how they will benefit your donors. Use multiple channels to reach your donors, such as email, social media, and your website.

Involve donors in the process:

Consider involving your donors in the change process by soliciting their feedback or ideas. This can help create a sense of ownership and ensure that the changes are well-received.

Provide ample notice:

Provide ample notice before the changes go into effect to give donors time to adjust. This can help minimize any negative impact on their experience.

Offer training or support:

If the changes require donors to learn a new system or process, provide training or support to help them make the transition smoothly.

Monitor feedback:

Monitor donor feedback after the changes have been implemented to ensure that they are well-received. Be open to making adjustments based on donor feedback.

Address concerns:

Address any concerns or complaints from donors promptly and professionally. This can help alleviate any negative impact on their experience.

Show appreciation:

Show appreciation to your donors for their loyalty during the change process. This can be done through special offers or rewards to show that their involvement in your mission is valued.

If you’re nervous about making changes to your nonprofit, then try these steps so you can minimize any negative impact on your donor base.

Create ease and convenience even in the face of changes within your organization. Here’s how you can do that:

If your donors are responding negatively to changes you have chosen to make, it is important to take action to address their concerns so they do not feel like your organization is going to be a hassle for them. Here are some steps you can take to help with the transition:


Listen carefully to what donors are saying and try to understand their concerns. Ask for specific examples and try to identify the root cause of their dissatisfaction.


Communicate openly and transparently with your donors. Explain why the changes were made, what benefits they will bring, and what steps you are taking to address their concerns.

Take action:

Take action to address donor concerns and work to help them successfully maneuver these changes.

Follow up:

Follow up with donors after taking action to address their concerns. This can help show that you are committed to their satisfaction and build trust.

Learn from feedback:

Use negative feedback as an opportunity to learn and improve. Analyze the feedback you receive and use it to make better decisions in the future.

What the new Netflix password sharing policy has taught us:

People have options. They have more options than they ever have before. Whether that is in streaming services or nonprofit missions to support.

Donors want to know that they are valued, heard, and involved in your mission, which you can achieve by engaging, communicating, and showing appreciation.

If you are looking for new ways to offer an exceptional donation experience to your donors then try out our Givecloud Express plan for free! You can have your new donation form up and running in just three minutes.

Did we mention that donating through our forms is even faster!? Talk about convenience!

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