Now that you're a pro at understanding how the national trend is shifting away from traditional one-time donation asks at special events towards Subscription Philanthropy (smaller monthly asks) & modern stewardship (text messaging), the next question is:
"What does this mean for OUR organization?"
Why It Matters
You work hard EVERY DAY - juggling the never-ending to-do list of...
putting out fires 🚒
keeping your Board, staff, and donors happy
harnessing all of your limited energy & resources to raise all types of support/donations (one-time, monthly, grants, corporate & foundation, in-kind, etc.)
through multiple channels (direct mail appeals, special events, peer-to-peer campaigns, Facebook posts, e-blasts, etc.)
while manually tracking reports & donations via 100 different Excel sheets & systems (the "sexy" side of fundraising no one knows about, HA!)
and ensuring EVERY donor has an exceptional giving & stewardship experience
We get it. The hustle is REAL.
You know that a $10 monthly donor is far more valuable to you in the long run than a $100 one-time donor. Yet who has time to steward either of these folks in such a way that your monthly donor will continue to give to you (and be an advocate for you!) and that your one-time donor will become a recurring giver?
We know there are more creative ideas and innovative solutions inside of YOU and your team that are trapped and suffocated because you're swamped juggling the day-to-day and trying to make your $5 donors feel just as special as your $5,000 donors while being 100% aware that while it is necessary, it's impossible (unless you have a Development staff budget of like 50 people, and if you do, call me so I can high-five your CEO!).
So you need a partner to come alongside you to free your time (and mind!) to work on these big vision goals and that you can trust to give EVERY one of your donors an exceptional donation AND stewardship experience.
Helloooooo, Harness! We GOT you! This is our THING!
What You Need to Decide
Here are some honest self-evaluation questions your Development department should consider:
How does this concept of Subscription Philanthropy (a recurring giving program) fit into my organization/Development department's strategic plan?
How does this affect our fundraising initiatives?
Do we have (or have we ever had) any kind of recurring giving program?
If so, how did it work? Why did it end? How is it going now?
What do we need to do to "make room" to build/grow/refine/prioritize a recurring giving program to create and sustain a healthy budget for the long haul?
Are we committed to this?
The Practical Next Steps
So you've done some soul-searching and are ready to commit to a recurring giving initiative. Congratulations! Now, HOW do you do this?
Decide on a NAME for your recurring giving program (ex: Hope Builders)
Determine what KIND of recurring giving program you will offer your donors - ex: a "choose-what-you-pay" model where a donor can give any dollar amount they want monthly OR a subscription model where a donor chooses from established giving levels you offer them)
Decide what value (perks/benefits) your recurring donors will receive
Determine WHO you are going to communicate this recurring giving program to (ex: start with any recurring givers you already have; target current one-time donors; target donors who give at least $100 annually?)
Determine WHAT you are going to communicate to these "WHO" groups (ex: Check out our NEW way to give; If you want to increase your impact visit "here")
Determine HOW you are going to communicate to these "WHO" groups (ex: through your usual channels of social media, e-newsletters, etc. or adding this communication to your run-of-show at your next event.)
So far, so good?
After Steps 1 - 6 above, create your own marketing that is visually appealing & communicates steps 1 - 3
Set up your Harness auto messages to get ready to steward the flood of donors that will visit your giving pages
SHARE your marketing/ask through your channels chosen in Step 6 and CELEBRATE the beginning of a new era of sustainable revenue for your organization!
Woop woop! You did it! 💯