Are You Prepared to Deliver to Donors at Any Level This Year-End?
The push is on. Its year-end, so one more month to bring in as much money as you can to support your cause. With or without #GivingTuesday campaigns, I bet you have at least a few messages going out in the next few weeks to ask your donors and those on your email list for money. You’ve hopefully dropped that appeal in the mail and your social media messages are flying!
While I already support some 30+ organizations with monthly gifts, I typically sit down behind my computer and make my special donations the day after Thanksgiving.
Now the quest is on to see how long it takes organizations to send me the proper thank you. Yes, every online gift was acknowledged with an email thank you, but that’s not what I mean. I’m looking for that special thank you to make me feel even more special. That note that will make me want to give again and again.
Let me explain by using the Amazon example. You probably already know that Amazon delivers on Sundays, and Post Offices are especially staffed for that purpose.
But the week before Thanksgiving, they ramp up even further. They work with the Post Office to ensure that everything is READY for the big push. This time of year, they have special trucks drop packages directly to the post offices, those trucks then delivers what they call “the last mile.” Your local mail carrier ensures that the package you ordered gets to the right house within the promised time frame.
The last five Sundays of the year, the number of mail carriers is expanded to ensure that every mail route is covered. Every mail carrier works hard to ensure that you get your package. And he or she will do so every day leading up to Christmas! Just something to think about and be grateful for.
Amazon prepares to deliver. Your Post Office prepares to deliver. Any and all companies involved in logistics staff up and prepare to deliver.
I realize that type of preparation is not always possible for nonprofits. You can’t just hire extra people to support that big push. But what you can do is ensure that you’ve thought through the best way to say thank you well ahead of time. You can ensure that everything is ready to go, the minute the first donation comes in through the mail, phone or online.
You can ensure that the mindset for everybody in your organization is donor focused and everybody knows which messaging and appeals are going out. Especially this time of year, every single person, volunteer or staff, becomes a donor-thanker and a fundraiser! Don’t let anybody ever tell you otherwise.
Now’s the time to focus on the donor and keep that donor giving year after year. No matter which level or how frequently they give. So, make sure you’re prepared to deliver the best donor experience possible and you’ll be just fine.
I received one special email from a local organization first thing Saturday morning, but I can’t wait to see how soon and what I’ll find in my mail box later this week!
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.