Should You Invest in Account Updater for Monthly Donors?
Last week, I wrote about those “pesky” monthly credit card donors whose card expired or changes all the time.
The good news is that there is a solution that you can implement for very little money. It works in the backend and is able to find updated information for some 15 to 25 percent of your cards. That’s 15 to 25 percent of donors you do not have to contact—the money keeps coming in.
Account updater (also called account recycling or account recovery) is becoming more and more popular. Some donor base systems have started offering it for a small fee. Some systems charge a flat fee every month, and some charge a small fee based upon the amount to be recovered. In any event, it’s totally worth it!
Of course, you do have to consider your total number of monthly donors. In my view, I’d definitely look at account updater if you have 500 monthly donors or more or if that’s your goal.
Simplified, the way it works is that the system identifies those cards where payments are not going through. They are then hit against a huge database with updated information (all tokenized and PCI-compliant), and the database finds the new card info, updates it and processes the monthly charge. So, you won’t lose that payment and, better yet, you don’t lose that monthly donor!
Ask your online processor or donor base company if they can offer this for you, because they need to set it up for you. You’ll still have to immediately call, email and write to those donors not yet captured through the account updater system, but the number will be smaller.
Just think of it this way: If the average monthly donor value is $23 a month, that’s $276 a year. Investing a tiny amount to retain him or her is absolutely worth it. You’ll improve your monthly donor retention rate. What’s not to like?
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.