A Monthly Giving How-To: Be Donor-Centric
As we’re all slowly moving back to what is now considered “the new normal,” nonprofits are still struggling. When can they get back to the office? Who is going to pick up the mail? How can they send out thank-you letters?
Some nonprofits haven’t missed a beat. Some had to step up their service levels to even higher levels than before. They kept working with other essential businesses — like printers, letter shops, post offices — to get their mail out. What do donors think? Will they still care?
Notice that I said other essential businesses. Your nonprofit is essential. Your clients, patients, children, animals, etc., would not get the help they need without you!
But did you tell your donors? Did you express how much you need them and value them? Were you as donor-centric as you could be?
Well, here is another really great way to express how donor-centric you can be.
By giving your donors the opportunity to help you! By allowing them to support you in a way that works best for them, their schedule and their budget.
I’ve learned a long time ago that we can never assume anything. That’s why direct marketers test. What we think may not always be right. We cannot assume that donors read our minds. We cannot assume that donors don’t want to help. We cannot assume that donors don’t have the funds to help.
We can give donors the opportunity to let them know we need them. We can give donors the choice to make a smaller or larger gift. We can give donors the choice to make a one-time gift or a monthly gift. Donors will do what they can, and monthly giving is a great way to allow them to make a difference in a way that works best for them.
One of the organizations I work with includes a choice of one-time or monthly gift in every email and every appeal. And in every giving opportunity, there are donors who pick the option to make a monthly gift.
Donors can choose to make a gift through their preferred channel (mail, online or phone) from their preferred platform (computer, tablet or smartphone) at their preferred time of day with the type of payment they prefer (card, bank or even PayPal) at the frequency and the amount that works best for them.
Can it get any more donor-centric than that?
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is the president of A Direct Solution, a company serving nonprofit organizations with fundraising and direct marketing needs, with a focus on monthly giving and appeals. She authored "Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant" and "Monthly Giving Made Easy." She regularly blogs and presents on fundraising, appeals and monthly giving — in person and through webinars. She is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving retention rates for your donors.
Erica has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supports organizations with annual fund planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution.
When she’s not working or writing, Erica can be found on the golf course (she’s a straight shooter) or quietly reading a book. And if there’s an event with a live band, she and her husband, Patrick, can be found on the dance floor. She also loves watching British drama on PBS. Erica and Patrick have two step sons and a cat, Mientje.