A Monthly Giving How-To: Use Donor Anecdotes and Your Numbers
Recently, several organizations asked me for help in making the case to provide an easier donation-processing experience for their donors.
Especially during these difficult times, an extra investment may be hard to swallow and even harder to “sell” to leadership and the board.
That’s why it’s really important to find all the ammunition you need to make the case.
Have any donors reached out and shared anecdotes or messages telling you how hard it was to complete a donation on your website? Do you have any donors who called or emailed you and said they had a bad donor experience, and they needed to make a correction to a gift? When you called your donors to say thank you, did any of them share that there was a problem with their gift?
Keep track of donor anecdotes like this. Can you quantify how many you received in the past month or even longer? Then check your numbers. How many donors went to your website and then didn’t complete their gift? How many donors clicked through to the giving page, but then abandoned it? How many tried making a monthly gift but didn’t?
Will the new solution improve this? What if you could improve your completion rate by 10% or even 20%? How much money will that equate to? On an annual basis?
If your new solution allows your donors to pay for credit card fees, just calculate how much more money you’d be able to use for your mission. Industry studies have shown that some 60% to 80% of donors pay for the fees, so it’s an extra donation to your nonprofit. What does that mean if you total it up for a year?
If you can now make it easier for donors to make a monthly gift and if you can now offer special monthly gift amounts, that may be worth doing, and your new solution will pay for itself in a few months.
Just think, one new monthly donor will generate $300 a year on average. Ten new monthly donors will generate $3,000 more a year. What is the cost of the new solution or your extra investment? How does that compare?
Now combine the donor feedback and some hard numbers, and try selling the solution again. It takes some money to make money. How can your leadership team and/or board not be persuaded by 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.