Can Monthly Giving Through Direct Withdrawls Work?
The good news is that it’s all safe, easy, confidential. If you’re thinking about adding ACH to your giving options and you’re not yet familiar with NACHA, the Electronic Payments Association, I highly recommend you check them out. They have some wonderful resources, guidelines, form examples and studies available on their web site that can help you bring your monthly giving program to the next level.
So, how can you implement direct withdrawal via ACH for your monthly donor program? Of course, it depends on what you have in place now, but let me share one case study with you.
When we started working together, this religious organization had 65 percent of their recurring donors giving via checks (who received monthly reminders), 25 percent via credit card and 10 percent via EFT.
The first order of business was to offer a conversion option in every check statement. It was a simple buck slip showing the tremendous cost savings if all check statement sustainers would convert to EFT, which could then be used for other programs. It included a very simple and easy to understand reply form.
The second part of the strategy was to have ACH on every reply form in every ask to give monthly. And we simply kept chipping away at it. Month after month, some 1 to 2 percent on average would convert. At no cost to the donor, it was just a great way to give monthly.
Now, the organization has some 45 percent of donors giving through ACH, 25 percent through credit cards and 30 percent through checks so a major turnaround—and the monthly giving retention rate benefits!
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.