Your Flight Just Got Canceled—What Does That Mean If You Have Monthly Sustainers?
It’s August—that means thunderstorms; perhaps even a hurricane. Weather issues mean flight delays. Waiting. And waiting some more! You may not get to your destination today. Or if you’re on your way home, you may not get there until much later. You can get upset about it, but ultimately, it’s all about being safe. But what does a flight delay due to weather or worse—a hurricane, a fire, a flood—mean for your monthly sustainers and for you as an organization?
You may not be able to get into the office. Your mail may not get to its destination for a few days. Your well-timed email may not get to the donor until later. Your donors may not be home to check their mail. They’ll not be able to send in their check.
But, if they’re a monthly sustainer, their payment gets processed no matter where they are. No matter what happens with the weather. It doesn’t make a difference if the flight leaves on time or gets delayed. That monthly gift is something you can count on.
EXCEPT when their card expires or gets declined or canceled for some reason. Why is it then that so many organizations are not focused on keeping their monthly donors going?
If you’ve not yet seen the SalesForce and Next After study, download it now. It’s absolutely fascinating reading! The sad statistic he shared is that 47 percent of organizations do not follow-up on expiring cards!
That’s the easiest win! If you don’t try, you’re certainly not going to keep them and all of a sudden you will not be able to count on their gift. You want to do everything in your power right away, with all your might!
So, if you see that your monthly donors’ payments are not coming in, pick up the phone, send an email with a link to update, get a letter out right away and if you have their permission, send a text with a link to update.
That way, if you see bad weather coming your way or if you’re stuck at the airport the next time, you can rest assured that your monthly gifts will keep going, no matter what.
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.