The Best 3 Fundraising Exercises to Optimize Donor Experiences
Exercise regularly. Easier said than done. If you’re exercising regularly, that’s wonderful. I was always too busy and not doing much until I heard about barre classes near my home. I really had no excuse not to! Now, I’m there at least twice a week, and I feel great! I just know it helps improve the retention of my health and wellbeing. Well, if you’re concerned about your donor retention and donor experience, let’s look at the best three fundraising exercises to help you do just that:
- Make sure you test your donation forms. You can do it your self, but I recommend that you ask someone else who was not involved in creating the forms. You may be amazed by the feedback. What does your autoresponder say? What does it look like? What does your email response say? Can you make it better? Does it make for a good donor experience?
And then of course, especially if it pertains to monthly gifts: Does your autoresponder and email receipts indicate that the donor just committed to making a monthly gift? Can you make it better? Do this every time you change your donation forms.
- Make sure you test your inbound telephone support. Have someone call your organization and ask them to make a donation and preferably a monthly gift. How long does it take for the caller to get to someone who can take the donation and specifically the monthly gift? Can you make it better?
- Make sure you test your thank you elements, timing and processes. I realize that many organizations think that donors don’t want hard copy (read: mailed) thank-you letters. However, I’m a strong believer that it’s vital to send a hard copy thank you letter, especially when someone makes a monthly gift. It’s a very special commitment, and you must let the donor know that you really appreciate that. How can you make your donor experience better?
It’s also important that you let the donor know how he or she can best contact you if there’s a question about their monthly gift. And it goes without saying that you send this thank-you letter out right away.
If you do these exercises regularly, I can assure you that your donor experience improves and your donor retention goes up and your fundraising results will be healthier than ever before!
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.