Two Ways to Grow Relationships With One-Time Gift Members
The Human Rights Campaign is a Washington, D.C.-based national organization that seeks to advance the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and is comprised of more than 650,000 members and supporters. One of the key factors that enables HRC to bring in such a high number of individuals is that it uses nearly every channel imaginable to attract new members: online; door-to-door and on-the-street interaction; house parties and Pride and black-tie events; a gift-membership program, etc. The organization also now has a two-hour radio show called “The Agenda with Joe Salmonese” hosted by its president on XM Satellite radio. In addition to covering LGBT politics, entertainment and sports, it features ads driving listeners online to get involved, become members and donate.
One of the most successful methods of member acquisition for the organization is its door-to-door canvassing program. Dane Grams, HRC’s director of annual giving, says following up with individuals who become members at the door to get a subsequent gift can be a challenge, as these members are not traditionally direct-mail or telemarketing responsive. But HRC has found two methods to help combat this:
1) Roughly three months after getting a one-time gift at the door, HRC will try to get a second gift through a direct-marketing channel. “We have found that once somebody makes a second gift to the organization through one of the more challenging channels, they are more likely to be direct-marketing responsive and give again,” Grams says. Turning door-to-door donors to direct-marketing-responsive givers increases their retention and loyalty to the organization.
2) At the door, the organization initially will try and get a monthly gift commitment, which it’s found to be very successful. “When we get a monthly gift out of somebody at the door who’s giving electronically, they’re always current, meaning we don’t have to renew them,” Grams says.