In the past year, this organization in Washington, DC had steadily started losing 500 monthly donors each month. At the same time, its acquisition efforts were only generating 250 monthly donors a month, so the program was in a steady and rapid decline. Something had to happen!

The Director brought in A Direct Solution to review the program and try to turn it around. And that’s exactly what we did!

One big problem in the past year was beyond the organization’s control: the implementation of new chip cards, so virtually everybody’s card changed. As the organizations’ monthly donor program was bringing in about 25% of its total annual fundraising revenue, it was absolutely crucial to keep it growing.

The first thing we did was map out their current processes. Here’s what we found:

  • Account updater was in place, which helped keep some 25% of all lapsers.
  • Other monthly donors whose card declined or changed did receive a phone call right away, but the callers were only able to reach about 20% of its lapsers.
  • The organization had email addresses for 60% of its lapsing monthly donors , but they were not sending an email asking for updated information.
  • A letter asking for updated information did not go out until 3 months later instead of the next month due to some coding issues.
  • Lapsed monthly donors were not coded as such, so it was more difficult to select them for follow up purposes.

Here are some of the new initiatives we put in place:

  1. The telemarketing was instructed to try reaching declined and changed card monthly donors 5 times and if still not reached, they were to leave a phone message, asking the donor to call the organization with updated information. Some 25% of the donors responded right away.
  1. We created an email appeal to go out every month. Some 10% of the donors responded.
  1. We put the coding for lapsed monthly donors back in place and the organization is scheduling a lapsed monthly donor campaign via telemarketing to try to get as many of last year’s lapsers back.
  1. The letters are now being sent to lapsing monthly donors right away.
  1. We organized a credit card conversion campaign to Electronic Funds Transfer donors, which helped improve retention rates.
  1. We looked at their monthly donor acquisition programs and made some tweaks to it, so results improved.
  2. We provided the organization with a full blown Monthly Giving Audit and Recommendations so they’re ready

The organization’s monthly giving program is now back on track and growing again!

If you’d like me to help you with your monthly donor program or if you have any questions, simply email or call me at (508) 776-1224.

You can also just contact the Monthly Giving Help Line . It only takes one extra new monthly donor to pay for it! You can’t beat the price.

Or you can schedule some time for an Audit to look at your overall program.

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