How Do You Create a ‘Survival Blanket’ for Your Nonprofit?
Snow. The cold white stuff. It’s been falling steadily for the past few hours, and there’s more to come.
It reminds me of the time when my husband and the boys attended a special winter scout camp called The Klondike Derby.
It was all about learning to survive in cold weather (and, of course, lots of fun). The worst thing that could happen was to get wet socks or clothes because you would not be able to dry up.
You’d have to find ways to use what you had with you to stay warm. With enough snow, you could do just that. The snow started acting like a winter survival blanket.
Well, if you think about it, monthly donors are like little snowflakes. And flake by flake, one by one, they create a winter wonderland.
They also create that very special “survival blanket” for your organization—money that’s coming in no matter what, even if people can’t get their mail because it snows.
So, the next time you look at the sky and you see those snow flakes coming down, think about how many monthly donors you already have and how much they’re worth on an annual basis. Then look at that revenue compared to your other income and see how far you’ve already come.
For example, if your monthly donors give $12 on average, and you get four new ones from an email you just did, that little campaign is worth $576 for the first year. How about doing that again? You raised $1,000!
Then think about what you can do with what you have to “collect” more snowflakes to create an even bigger survival blanket, one snowflake at a time.
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.