Geared Up for Growth
KM: It really depends on a couple of different factors. If the majority of your monthly donors are going to be giving by credit card, it is still very efficient to take gifts even as small as $5, because you know that those gifts are going to go through about 95 percent of the time. You have very low cost to manage the relationship. You’re not issuing a monthly statement, etc. And the likelihood that you’re going to get 12, or in some cases more, gifts out of those people in a year is very high.
AM: Perfect. Jeff, what’s your thought on this whole concept of what we should be doing in retaining donors and even outside the donor population, volunteers and other types of constituents?
Jeff Jowdy: The bottom line is to keep them. We know that retaining donors is less costly. We also know that people give more to where they’re involved and that long-time donors are more likely to consider a planned gift or an ultimate gift. So always be looking for opportunities not only for donor retention but to engage your donors, as volunteers, as advocates for your organization, no matter what your cause or what your geographic reach would be.
How do you get your donors to be advocates, to be involved with your organization? There are three basic things. We’ll oftentimes do interviews with board members of organizations we’re working with, and it’s amazing the number of even board members who aren’t being asked, aren’t being thanked and who aren’t being communicated with regularly. You have to ask regularly and thank regularly and communicate regularly.
AM: Continuing along that line of best practices … how do we do the things that we’ve always done, which we know work, but do them the best possible way?