How Should You Treat Your Monthly Donors on Giving Tuesday?
As you’re getting ready for Giving Tuesday — or the campaign season starting before Thanksgiving — this question comes up often:
Should I include my monthly donors in my Giving Tuesday campaign?
My answer is: Yes! Absolutely, BUT…
Why do I recommend including your monthly donors? Because this is an exciting time to give, and you’ll leave money on the table if you don’t ask. Many Giving Tuesday (or Giving Day) campaigns have a match challenge included, so it’s more of a motivator for monthly donors to make an extra gift.
Remember, your monthly donors love you. They care about you and your mission. So give your monthly donors the opportunity to make a special gift at this special time and allow them to help you reach your special (match/challenge) goal sooner.
How about that BUT?
You must recognize them as monthly donors when you send them the special ask. This starts by telling your monthly donors that you know that they’re special and that they are already making ongoing monthly gifts. This means that you must have your monthly donors in a special group or segment in your email list (and you must flag them separately in your donor base/CRM).
You can start your email with something like this:
Thank you so much for your ongoing monthly support as a [member of the monthly giving program name]. Today, I wanted to let you know about a very special match… that will make even more of a difference to the children, animals, clients, [fill in the blank] you save.
Last year, Steven Shattuck did a great study about the many emails he received on Giving Tuesday as a monthly donor and virtually nobody recognized him as such. Only one organization sent just a “thanks for giving” email. I experienced the same. I highly recommend you recognize those monthly donors with just a tiny variation to show your appreciation for what they’re already doing.
Now’s the time to plan those versions. And by isolating your monthly donors in these emails, you can compare open and click-through rates as well. You may be very pleasantly surprised. You’ll generate so much more money if you do that with just a little bit more work to create a tiny variation of your Giving (Tues)day emails. It’ll be worth it!
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.