27 Keys to Monthly Giving Program Success, Part 3 (12-19)
16. Beware of the double-edged sword
Like any program, monthly giving has its pros and cons:
- The good — steady stream of revenue month after month in many small gifts, which is wonderful.
- The bad: tendency for management to take it for granted, becoming complacent, thinking money just comes in. CFOs love monthly giving programs because they are not dependent on grants or portfolios.
- The solution: Regular and frequent internal communications on program progress and its value to the organization.
"The money never' just comes in,'" Arnold said. "It takes lots of resources and dedicated, talented staff. Once it starts spiraling downward, it's hard to bring it up again. People have choices on where they give, so you have to take care of them and invest in them."
17. Include telefundraising and test
Telemarketing is expensive, but response rates are typically three to five times higher than mail, Weidokal said.
The benefit of phone is that it provides immediate results and tracking — real-time testing from a real-time medium. However, Weidokal reminded attendees that there are "no sacred cows — anything can be measured and should be tested. Test everything. Seemingly small tweaks can have significant impact on results."
18. Use the phone to upgrade sustainers
An international child-relief organization Weidokal worked with incorporated telemarketing to upgrade current child sponsors and saw its metrics jump from a 17 percent upgrade rate historically to a 26.8 percent upgrade rate in 2011 due to personalized scripting (sponsor level, child name, age and country), which let donors know the organization knows them and that their gifts raised the boat.
19. Use voice broadcast to import fulfillment
A Native American boys and girls school tested a voice broadcast prior to a pledge letter, Weidokal said. Basically, it was a call announcing the appeal. It led to increase in response and average gift.