Find a Way to Address a Monthly Donor’s Hesitation
At this time, many people are looking to find out when they can possibly get vaccinated against COVID-19. I live on Cape Cod, an area with many older residents — many who have been struggling.
Many of these older residents do not have access to the internet, so registration online is difficult. They do have access to the phone, though, so as a result, they’ve just started a special COVID-19 hotline with a person answering the phone at the other end.
Why is this important? Because donors may very well be much like these older residents.
They may not be online. Or even if they are, they may not be comfortable with giving online. They may not even have a credit card. They may be more comfortable receiving something in the mail, and then calling the organization to make their gift.
How does this impact monthly giving? By not putting all your eggs in one basket. Offer as many opportunities as possible for donors to give, and especially offer many ways to give monthly. You really must make the donors as comfortable as possible. You want to take away any hesitation they may have.
That’s why I recommend hitting on all cylinders.
- Include a monthly donor ask in your appeal.
- Include a phone number for donors to call if they have questions.
- Have a button in your email.
- Have a special page on your site explaining the importance of monthly giving.
- Add a downloadable printable form for donors to send back. You can download your own copy for customization right here. I’ve heard numerous stories of organizations that have donors who are more comfortable sending in a form than hitting the “submit” button. (And you can often also offer the EFT/ACH automatic bank option which will help even more.)
What I’m asking you to do is to do as much cross-selling and cross-referencing as possible.
And now that the heaviest giving season is over, take a moment to look at the number of donors who go to your payment page but then abandon that page. Can you offer an abandoned cart email to follow up or at least find out why the donor did not complete the gift?
Sometimes the page may be too overwhelming or as NextAfter’s research has found, you may be asking for too much information. How can you take away your donors’ hesitation to give?
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.