Mercy Corps' OMGs! (Online/Offline Monthly Givers)
If your organization does not have a monthly giving program, you should consider starting one. Monthly givers are often extremely loyal to an organization, and those recurring monthly gifts can really boost a nonprofit's bottom line.
At the 2013 Nonprofit Technology Conference, Annalise Briggs, manager of Mercy Corps' monthly giving program, discussed the organization's monthly giving and data about monthly donors in the session "I Could Be Your Next Monthly Donor, So Call Me Maybe?"
Internally, the Mercy Corps calls its online and offline monthly givers OMGs, because it is both an appropriate acronym and because Mercy Corps' OMGs are the "best donors ever," according to Briggs.
The organization's monthly sustainers make up just 9 percent of its donor file, but they contribute 30 percent of Mercy Corps' revenue. Further, monthly givers average 10.2 gifts annually compared to just 1.6 for its single-gift donors, and the average value per donor per year is $423 for sustainers compared to $142 for other donors.
So how does Mercy Corps get its donors to become monthly givers? One tactic is telefundraising — not telemarketing!
"I hate the word telemarketing," Briggs said. "I call it telefrundraising because we're using this valuable channel to connect with donors."
Briggs played a Mercy Corps telefundraising call, detailing the simple, straightforward and friendly manner in which the caller talked with the donor, and that call recipient turned into a monthly giver. While Briggs admitted she sifted through plenty of negative responses before hitting on this successful one, the truth of matter is telefundraising works in moving one-time or single-gift donors to the sustainer file.
Some organizations may be hesitant to use telefundraising, Briggs said, due to the common myth that, "If I don't like telemarketing calls, donors won't' either."
As all fundraisers know by now (or at least should), it's not about your own personal preferences — it's about what donors care about and what works. For Mercy Corps, the phone is the best conversion channel to monthly giving, with a 3 percent to 5 percent conversion rate through telefundraising compared to just 0.22 percent through the mail and 0.01 percent through e-mail.