Don’t Forget to Test Before You Send
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We had a great time with my family, the turkey and all the trimmings.
On Black Friday, I sat down behind my computer and made donations to some 20 organizations. The same amount for each. Some I already donate to monthly, and some I only give to this time of year.
To process the 20 donations, four used PayPal, and two used Stripe, NetCommunity, Donor Perfect Weblink, Classy or Network for Good. Then there were the onesies: Click and Pledge, E-tapestry, Justgiving, Firstgiving and Donorbox.
Most of these were very easy to do, but in two instances, I was not able to process the donation, so I contacted the organization and let them know. Fortunately, they were checking their email, and they were able to fix it, so I was able to make my donation later on.
Do you know if your process works? When’s the last time you tested your own system? I highly recommend you take a minute today and do it, so you’re ready for tomorrow and this big giving season.
All processors had the monthly giving option built in—congratulations! Nine out of the 20 allowed me to pay for the credit card fees, so 100 percent of the donation goes to the organization. The fees ranged from $0.70 to $1.56 on a $35 donation. This of course depends upon the system you use, and there’s nothing you can do to change it now. But if at one point you’re looking to change your online processor, make that part of your evaluation process.
For each donation made, I saved the auto-responders and the subsequent thank-you emails and receipts. Now, I’m waiting to see what happens next. Are the organizations sending me a thank-you letter by mail or not?
I recommend you do! Yes, I made my gift online, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t like receiving mail. Don’t assume. It’s better to do more than less!
You have the chance to really wow me as a donor, even for a $35 donation! And it’ll put me in an even better frame of mind to consider giving monthly the next time you ask me! Soon!
So, if you haven’t already done so, go ahead and take a few minutes today to test your process, or better yet, have someone else test it for you. You’ll be ready to receive your #GivingTuesday and other year-end gifts.
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.