We have always known how important investment is in our monthly giving programs. Monthly or regular giving donors, that have automated payment set up, have twice the lifetime value than that of one-time gift donors and create amazing stability in our revenue mix. Particularly if we have 30% of our revenue in the annual or mass programs realized through monthly or sustainer revenue.
So, how has COVID-19 changed our approach to monthly giving?
All that this global pandemic has done is emphasize the importance of these critical donors in the mix, as revenue diversification has clearly become a key to not just stability in this crisis, but sustainability and growth. In our view, it’s the perfect time for increased focus and investment in monthly giving as we look across our short, medium, and long-term fundraising strategies to ensure we are building for the future.
Now is the time to ensure we have our monthly giving offer and product solidified and well-articulated, including how you are connected or not, to COVID-19. And now is the time for truly solid strategic thinking around our monthly donor journey as we stay nimble during the planning for Q3 & Q4.
Everything you do now to push forward your monthly program will ensure improved success as you move into 2021. So how are we managing to replace our large focus on F2F acquisition of monthly donors? Creatively – by looking at all things digital, the mix of DITV, and some new, innovative approaches to engaging new donors in monthly giving. We are truly realizing new opportunities within this crisis as ways to connect and inspire more people to give monthly.
Once you have your acquisition strategy sorted it’s time to turn your focus to retention, reactivation, and conversion strategies. Using everything we have at our disposal to deliver an amazing donor experience and inspire people to do more, where possible, will yield the best results. Remember – in these challenging times, retention is the Queen.
Make sure your frontline defence – your Donor Care Team – are fully on board with options available to donors. Empowering this critical team with options, such as downgrades or giving holidays, to keep donors engaged, is key to your long-term success. It’s important to make sure your data management, business rules, and tracking are up to date. In other words, all systems are talking, and you can be nimble in responding to donor requests.
If donors do cancel, it’s not the end of the relationship. Thank them, engage them, and position yourself so the experience is positive. A cancelation journey that is well executed and thoughtful will ensure you keep that door open.
The key to navigating through this challenging time is to keep your eyes open – donate to your own organization as a mystery shopper – see what it really feels like to be a part of your New Donor Onboarding program. Is it different for monthly donors than one-time donors? Are you being sensitive to the COVID crisis and acknowledging it? Are you nurturing donors in a bubble? Is the journey different for brand new donors than for donors who reactivated?
A real focus on your monthly donors will help you stabilize your program during this crisis and be ready to grow it in the future. It’s about the longevity of the relationship, and demonstrating your own commitment to these wonderful donors by delivering great content and an even greater understanding of the process we are all in. As we often say – this is a journey – so make sure you are bringing your monthly donors along with you. It will be vital to your organization’s future.