27 Keys to Monthly Giving Program Success, Part 4 (20-27)
22. Test giving levels and when to ask
Glass shared something that sounds counterintuitive: If you provide higher ask strings, you drive higher conversion rates.
"If you want more money, ask for more money," he said. "If not, don't ask for it."
However, Glass did caution to keep an eye out for churn rates. You don't want to lose too many donors to higher ask strings. Also, he suggested that organizations never try to upgrade monthly donors before 12 months, and 12-24 months is ideal — of course, it's always good to test.
23. Use credit card recycling tools
Did you know that once someone signs up, you're allowed to try that credit card again if it gets declined? The credit card companies have a system in place to allow this, so monthly donors can honor their commitments.
"Are you leaving donations on the table by not doing this?" Glass said.
Learn about what recycling features your CRM/DRM and credit card processor offer. This allows you to retry failed cards and process expired cards. There are also account updater services for Visa and MasterCard, and American Express cards have a built-in feature that already allows you to do this.
24. Measure value and churn rates
It's always crucial to measure everything you do in fundraising, and monthly giving is no exception. Glass suggested analyzing:
- Which offers generate the highest average gifts?
- Which offers create the highest churn rates?
- Which offers result in the longest lifetime value?
He also said you should measure everything from e-mail appeals to passive vs. active Web terms and calls to action, telemarketing, direct mail, advertising, search, etc. The goal is to determine where you should spend more resources to optimize your marketing mix.
25. Remember lapsed sustainers
Don't ignore your lapse monthly givers, Waasdorp said. Some tips on re-engaging lapsed sustainers: