Get the 'Generator' Before You Need It
If you’ve been following the weather, you may know that it’s been a rough few weeks, especially in New England.
In Massachusetts, we were hit by our second Nor’easter within 10 days; and this last one was really bad. Snow was falling at one to two inches an hour, and the many downed trees caused power to be out for 99 percent of our area.
Emergency shelters were open for days. Some cellphone services went down as well, so many people had no way to communicate. Not a good situation.
The good news is that my husband and I have a generator. It’s not large. It runs on gasoline, but we did wire it into the house, so we know which circuits it runs.
We invested in it when we got married 12 years ago because we know that power outages are a real possibility. My husband tests it every month, so we know it’s there if we need it.
And boy, did we need it! We lost power for a day and a half, but I was able to work on generator power. It was running my modem, and I was even able to teach a webinar!
One small tank of gas kept us our house lit and heated all day. Others were not so lucky. You bet that many folks will look at generators a lot differently, and they’ll make sure they have one in time for the next Nor’easter to hit (expected later this week).
Now, what does this have to do with monthly giving? Well, it’s like that generator. You have to invest in monthly donors before you really “need them” because you run out of funding. You have to make sure your “system” is wired in. You need to “maintain” your monthly donors every month, and you have to have the “gasoline” on hand to keep it “humming.”
You’ll know that even if you can’t reach any of your donors in other ways because phone, mail and the Internet are not on and banks are closed, you’ll still have funds coming in.
So, if you know that your area is prone to power outages, even if it’s once or twice a year, consider getting a generator, so it’s there if the power goes down.
And if you know that, you’ll need ongoing revenue to keep your programs going, get your monthly donor program up, running and tested. Don’t wait till it’s too late.
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.