27 Keys to Monthly Giving Program Success, Part 2 (7-11)
CARE, for instance, offers a conference call with its president two or three times a year. These donors are very committed and loyal. Give them something special, Downs said.
9. Understand the organization's sustainer gift processing inside and out
You need to know as much as you possibly can about how you're going to communicate with monthly donors. Understanding the difference in processing by channel and method of payment is crucial to know where that donor came from and how you can cultivate the relationship. You also need to know when a sustainer is lapsing so you can act quickly. Upgrade processing is tough, Downs said, so you have to understand the different business rules of your process for monthly giving.
"Retention is so key; everyone knows that," she said. "Know the timing. Think about implementation. Encourage everyone to think about the work it takes to sustain monthly givers."
10. Sustainer coding in your database is crucial and challenging
"Define the timing of lapsed sustainers, and record where they go next. Know all of your if/then scenarios," Downs said. "You will need IT/operations team support. Sustainer coding can be really complex with lots of exceptions, so you always have to plan. If your data isn't clean, you can confuse your donors."
11. Always recognize monthly donors
Downs suggested using monthly program branded messaging to your sustainers, regardless of channel or tactic. Use language such as "as one of our loyal monthly donors" or "would you consider an extra gift this month?" It lets donors know you are aware of their existing commitment and makes them feel that this current appeal is worth extra to the organization.