MEGables June 2018 - Volume 10...Find and Develop 4 Cs Monthly Giving Askers

Find and Develop 4 Cs Monthly Giving Askers

The most effective way to rapidly grow monthly giving program membership is with live, direct asks. When done well, that live engagement, whether it be via phone team outreach or in-person group appeals, creates urgency and makes a personal connection with givers.
Recruiting and training a team of askers that have the right qualities and skills lays the foundation for rapid and continuing monthly giving program growth.
In a future MEGables best practices volume, we’ll share recommendations for training phone-a-thon teams on monthly giving asks. 
Here, we are focused on providing best practices for identifying and preparing high performing askers to make in-person group monthly giving appeals.
What are the qualities of the most successful in-person group monthly giving askers? 

The 4 Cs:

Committed - This person is already actively engaged with the university/organization. She/he understands the mission and has a story to tell that gives personal context for their monthly giving ask. Also, it’s highly advantageous if this already engaged individual is a peer of the people in the target audiences.

Credible – In addition to gaining credibility through a personal story of engagement, the peer asker is most credible when he/she is already a member of the monthly giving program. It’s most effective when the asker speaks about why she or he chose to become a monthly giver and the merits of monthly giving as an important and special, ongoing way to support the university/mission. The most engaged supporters often will intuitively understand the credibility component. With that, if they are not already monthly givers, they will often readily join when asked. 

Comfortable - The asker should be confident speaking in front of groups and should not have reservations about making a direct ask. 

Coachable - The most predictably successful askers are enthusiastically receptive to coaching and incorporating best practices in the ask execution. It’s important that the program point person share the ask preparation timeline including milestones and confirm that the prospective asker buys in to the preparation plan. If the potential asker is resistant to some structured preparation, it’s probably not the right person for the role.

The Psychology of Friendship

MEG knows her friendship psychology.

What does the psychology of friendship have to do with Monthly Engaged Giving?

Fundraising professionals frequently say friend-raising precedes successful fundraising.

Monthly Engaged Giving, aka MEG, knows her friendship psychology… and likes to refer to Theodore Newcomb’s classic 1961 study of beginning friendship in which Newcomb identified four key factors influencing friendship:

1)  Proximity – we are more likely to get to know somebody with whom we have regular contact

2)  Reciprocity – we like people who are like us.

3)  Similarity – we like people who share our values and beliefs.

4)  Complementary Nature – we are attracted to people and groups whose skills and abilities are complementary to our own.

Which one is the most important predictor of friendship?

Regular contact or “proximity” as Newcomb calls it.

Frequency of contact is a key advantage of monthly engaged giving programs relative to traditional annual giving campaigns.

The psychology of friendship is…social science that fundraisers can take to the bank.