So, you’ve launched your canvass program, monthly donors are flowing into your monthly giving program and your revenue is growing, or so you thought. Some of the largest problems facing monthly giving programs at nonprofits are the rising cost of donor acquisition coupled with the increases in donor attrition, a fact supported by this post written by Frank Barry on the npEngage blog. The best ways to relieve the stresses facing monthly giving programs that come with rising acquisition costs are to double down on your donor retention, donor engagement, and to shift your focus away from volume to quality.
When it comes to face-to-face canvassing, on street or door, you will always have some attrition in the first few months (although some programs are better than others). This is not only due to payment failure, but also human nature. New canvass donors do not have joining your organization forefront of their mind before they’re approached. In minutes, a monthly donor decides to make a monthly financial commitment to your organization.
Membership Drive continues to develop proven techniques to improve the experience of your monthly donors and safeguard your organization’s brand.
Monthly Donors “Not Knowing it’s Monthly” Cuts 1-3% of your Income
Recently, Working Families realized that the prominent reason donors cancelled was that donors were unaware they agreed to give monthly. Their canvassers and their donation form were explicit that the gift was monthly. But somehow too many members were unclear. This caused a 1% loss of their monthly donors (and income) for their entire canvass program. Membership Drive partnered with Working Families to evaluate and improve their donor experience.
Eliminating “I Didn’t Know it was Monthly Giving” Cancellations
Membership Drive audited the current processes and identified an opportunity to improve clarity in the monthly donor interaction. Changing the behavior canvassers is not easy and requires commitment. It requires a winning over hearts and minds, training, structural or policy change, and constant follow up. Membership Drive designed a training and new policies and supported Working Families leadership in driving the change.
Over a 6-week period, Working Families and Membership Drive staff trained the new techniques on the street. Analysis after six weeks showed a significant decline in “I didn’t know it was monthly giving” cancellations. So significantly, in fact, that they had dropped to zero. The Working Families Party eliminated the largest reason that their monthly donors called to cancel. Equally important, they improved the way they represent their brand in every interaction.
What did this mean for Working Families by the numbers?
Eliminating this monthly donor cancellation segment improved their canvass program’s retention — and therefore income — by 1%.