Create and Keep Continuity Givers
“Credit card relationships open up a world of data-driven possibilities for your cause, including: multichannel relationship building; demographic overlays; donor mapping; and donor upgrading.”
So wrote Jim Killion, chief e-strategist for is7, in a June 19 post on the DMA Nonprofit Federation’s blog, The Integrator, in which he extolled the virtues of credit cards in regards to philanthropy, noting that credit cards offer nonprofits a golden opportunity to turn donors into monthly givers.
“The greatest power of the card in an online environment is the ability to turn a one-time donor into a monthly donor (or a one-time buyer into a continuity purchaser). This aspect alone consistently makes lifetime value soar to anywhere from four to ten times that of a one-time, non-continuity donor or purchaser. It is, in short, a key to driving online success for many nonprofits.”
Killion added that some leading online causes are seeing six-figure income from their sustainer programs and some are seeing revenue as high as $1 million. He noted three key steps to sustaining such relationships:
1. Send targeted, monthly reports to donors about how their gifts are making a difference.
2. Send them targeted requests. “Keep continuity donors informed, but instead of asking for a gift (if they are already giving), consider asking them to forward a giving opportunity to their friends. Encouraging these ‘best friends’ to forward information about your cause to their friends can strengthen your relationship to your continuity donor. Once they recommend you to others they are far less likely to stop giving to you,” Killion wrote.
3. Monitor credit card expiration dates. Because more sustainer donors are lost because of expired credit cards than expired interest in a cause, Killion recommended instituting an “about to expire” program that alerts you and the donor, and gives “the donor adequate, motivational notice to send you their new credit card expiration date.”