AFP – Securing Future Growth

Here are some tips:

— Monthly bank account deductible gift phenom

Automatic monthly deductible giving from bank account technique is widely and successfully used in Canada, Australia and Europe, but not so much in the USA.

Canadian charities at the height of recession had a monthly giving increase of 10%.

It’s a win all around. Studies show that people who opt out of monthly deduction program are not affected by the offer.  Also if people do choose to participate, monthly deductions, they also give to cause requests for cash gifts.

Monthly donation request fits nicely in the four stages to securing future growth

1) Prospect Solicitation

A 4-page prospect solicitation letter continues to pull the most revenue.  Include such tactics as a deadline, specific request amount, stories in addition to offering the automatic monthly deduction.

2) Honeymoon maximization

Once receive first cash gift, ask again within next 4-6 weeks.  Data shows that donor is most likely to give again in this time-frame, followed by decreased responsiveness.

In between 1st and 2nd gift or the honeymoon period, make 3-4 non-ask contacts …

  • Thank in genuine manner. Keep personal with I / you pronouns.
  • Find out their support motivation and provide check-off boxes for answers related to mailing, word-of-mouth, etc.
  • Send ‘non-ask’/update letter.
  • Invite people to tele-conference with a high story focus or other activity

3) Send appeal with automatic deduction option

4) Ongoing retention activity

— Ask for a “show of hands” to request support in small ways such as adding name to petition, giving a talk, etc.

— Send executive update letters, newsletters, etc.

— Build a culture of openness.

Consider distributing a ‘I would love to hear from you’ letter seeking recommendations on how to serve better.

Leave lower half of letter blank for comments for tear off and return in enclosed envelope.  Offer this online as well.

This openness is going to give you more complaints and opportunities to improve.  This is a good thing!  Instead of complaining about your service to their friends and anyone who will listen, your “open invitation for improvement” will help people to engage with you personally to express discontent.

Ignorance is not bliss!

Build customer bliss by addressing complaints, fixing what’s wrong and notifying the person who cared enough to complain about the correction.

Posted by: Linda Brown Rivelis, President