What I Learned About Monthly Giving on My First Uber Ride
I have a confession to make: until this week, I had not yet used Uber. As a woman often traveling by myself, I always felt it a bit unnerving to get into some stranger’s unmarked car.
But when I was in Dallas recently, I had to try Uber as that’s what the hotel offered as the shuttle from the airport. They arranged it for me—and boom! Within a minute, I got my text message with the car’s plate information. So far so good. What I missed though was an earlier text with the name of the driver or the type of car.
You should know that even Dallas Love Field is a huge airport, and there are like hundreds of Uber cars looking to pick up passengers. So when someone shouted my name, I asked him about the plate number, as they were different. He mentioned he had a new car, so the plates hadn’t changed yet. I was a trusting soul. I got into the back seat, and we drove off.
Then I got another message from Uber saying that someone else was going to be picking me up. Hmm, odd. What was happening? That’s when I questioned the driver if we were going to my hotel. Turned out it was not the ride he had on his app… Fortunately, I had my hotel information handy, and we were able to get to my hotel quickly enough, so everything worked out well.
I tried calling or texting Uber about this, but unfortunately, that’s not possible. It’s all online. I must admit, it still makes me uncomfortable that there’s no way to alert a live person, so I’m still not totally sold on using a driver app just yet.
My second uber trip was going back from the hotel to the airport, and that worked out just fine. The driver mentioned that he usually doesn’t even know where he’s going until he swipes, so now I understand the confusion that happened the first time.
But what I learned from this experience is:
Verify the car. Verify the plates. Verify the driver. Verify the address where you’re going. And only then, get in the car because that’s when you’ll know you’ll reach your destination the fastest.
What does this have to do with monthly giving? Well. There are so many new apps. New online gift-processing options are popping up left and right.
Take a little extra time to verify that this new app is what you need. Verify that it integrates with your donor base. Verify the donor experience. Test it before you go live. Especially with monthly gifts, do commit to using the online processor for quite a while, so you don’t have to keep changing systems. Make your short list and figure out if this is the solution you want to go with. Make sure they have tech support available for whenever you have any questions about their giving solution. And remember, it’s all about the donor experience, so make sure that’s built into your considerations.
If the average donor and possible monthly donor is anything like me on my first Uber ride, make sure you include a clear phone number and you have a live body available to answer any questions the donor may have. Because this may very well be the very first time they’re clicking the “Give Monthly” or “Donate Now” button.
Make the donor “enjoy the ride,” without stress and you as the monthly donor “driver” will enjoy it just as much!
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.