The Difference a Quarter Could Make in Monthly Giving
Besides being a monthly donor to a number of nonprofits, I’m also a huge bargain shopper. Always checking for the latest deal and where best to stock up on those essential staples.
So, when Aldi stores came to the U.S., I was all excited. It’s a great place to find some international foods, Dutch cheese, great bread and affordable groceries, as long as you don’t care about brand names.
You see, I grew up in the south of the Netherlands, not far from the German border, and there was an Aldi store located across from my parents’ apartment.
One of the ways Aldi can keep its prices low is by using a quarter in a very special way. If you’ve shopped at one of its stores, you already know what I mean.
You see, you use a quarter to get your shopping cart. Then after you’re done shopping, you return the cart to its location right outside of the store to get your quarter back with one simple push. No more carts on the loose. Kids love it, adults love it, and everybody indeed returns their carts to this spot.
What a concept, I absolutely love it. (By the way, in the Netherlands, it’s not just Aldi that does this, but every single supermarket! You can use three sizes of coins: 50 cent, 1 euro and 2 euros.)
Just think about it: Individuals care enough about that quarter — they value it enough to walk a few extra steps to get back their investment.
So, when you say, “Just a quarter a day will make a difference” in your monthly giving messaging, it’s small enough, yet large enough for donors to understand the value.
Yes, I realize that a quarter a day is only $7.50 a month, yet it adds up to $90 a year. $450 for five years. How many groceries can your organization buy for that? How many homeless people can you house? How many clothes can you purchase (a lot if you go to a consignment store, not to mention the great things you might find)?
How can you make your monthly giving more tangible that it feels valuable enough to both your donor and your nonprofit? One donor. One quarter. One shopping cart. It all adds up. That’s how monthly giving works and grows.
I also see that you can now even purchase special Aldi quarter holders to put on your keyring (697,000 search results). Could they be on to something?
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.