A quick post today to remind us all about the beautiful simplicity of fundraising.
It is so easy to get turned inside out and upside down thinking about integrated campaigning, multi-channel fundraising, over-thinking our approach and completely rush past one stunningly obvious thing: asking for one thing.
One of our clients established a monthly giving program a number of years ago, and they have the standard monthly offer on the back of the response form. They were recruiting a handful (or less) of new monthly donors every campaign.
We encouraged them to test a monthly conversion package – to very small, select group of donors and done entirely in-house. Now, this was no turn-key operation. To keep cost and logistics manageable we kept the list very intimate, but tested from a variety of groups. We strategized about segments likely to perform best and went through line-by-line to identify what we would ask them for.
We reached out to existing monthly donors to ask them to provide testimonials we could use as part of the package. Not surprisingly, most of them passed at the opportunity, but it gave the charity a chance to connect with donors, invite them to be involved and thank them for their tremendous support.
The final package was:
– an oversized outer envelope, closed-faced, with a bright, colourful, real stamp
– a personal and genuine letter from the Executive Director
– a full-page insert with the voices (and faces) of other monthly supporters
– a full-page response device
– a stamped reply envelope (not a BRE, a real envelope)
The response device. Had ONE option. Give monthly. No single gift option. No shopping list of tick boxes: volunteering, events, legacies, interests. No request for email. Tons of white space and a very clear offer.
To date, they have recruited around or over 40 new monthly donors, with a value of over $650 per month (still coming in). A massive improvement over recruiting a handful in a passive way with each appeal.
Connect with me (firstname.lastname@example.org) directly if you want to hear more about the results by segment, or about some of the adjustments we are making for the second version we are sending in the new year.
I challenge you to have a look at your latest response coupon. How many things are you asking your donors for?