An Alluring Proposition
Monthly giving clubs
Encourage continued giving through monthly giving, or sustainer, programs, but reserve them for your best donors and solely promote them in your first or second renewal efforts. If you keep promoting this option, you’ll decrease response to your renewal efforts. If you ask donors to choose either a one-time donation or monthly giving, some of your audience will put off making the decision, possibly never coming back to it, and thus never donating at all.
Instead of inviting frequent donors to join monthly giving programs, draft them in — create a club name and simply inform your better donors that they automatically have become members and are eligible to receive monthly communications from your organization, telling them about the work you do and your ongoing progress.
At a recent Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association lunch in New York City, Lynn Edmonds, president of Holliston, Mass.-based L.W. Robbins Associates, presented a case study of a Native American school that did just that with positive results. The school got closer to its top-of-file donors, by increasing its communications with them and including them as part of a special “club” without having to commit to being monthly givers. Now it is expanding the program to be more proactive, and the results show an additional revenue increase.
In closing …
Once a year, try to get everyone in the development department to attend a renewal meeting. Pin all your renewals to a bulletin board. Then brainstorm together to develop new tests that could make a difference.
Cary Castle is a direct-response fundraising consultant. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.