Monthly Giving Webinar Questions Answered
In January, three fundraising professionals came together in a FundRaising Success webinar titled “Everything You Need to Know About Obtaining and Retaining Monthly Donors.” Though our pros were able to answer a number of the questions posed by the more than 100 attendees, they couldn’t get to all of them. Over the next three weeks, we’ll be highlighting our experts’ answers to some of the questions that didn’t get answered during the webinar.
This week, we’ll hear from Linda King, sustaining membership coordinator/Leadership Circle coordinator at the Iowa Public Television Foundation.
If you’d like to access the entire webinar online, go to www.fundraisingsuccessmag.com/docs/webinars.bsp for access and pricing information.
— Margaret Battistelli, Editor-in-Chief, FundRaising Success
Q: How many additional mailings/appeals are appropriate for a committed monthly donor?
Linda King: Speaking from a membership-based program, we offer sustaining membership as a solution for fewer solicitations. The monthly donors receive two additional gift asks: calendar year-end and fiscal year-end. If you have a campaign for a special need or circumstance out of the ordinary, I would include the monthly donors. [Be sure to] opt out the donors that let you know they do not wish to receive additional gift solicitations.
Q: Are you concerned that [monthly giving programs] are locking people in at lower gift amounts and [the organization loses] the ability to upgrade them?
LK: You are giving the donor an opportunity to make a larger gift because they can spread the amount over the year — easier to budget. In the tenth month of their giving, send an upgrade letter. I think you may be pleasantly surprised at the upgrades!
Q: What percentage of donors give via electronic funds transfer vs. credit card?
LK: EFT response will be higher with direct mail. Online pledges will be credit card. You can suggest to the credit card donors to convert to EFT in an upgrade letter and during phone conversations or inquires for new credit card information/expiration date. EFT is the least expensive option from an administrative standpoint.