Monthly Giving

MEGables September 2018 - Volume 13...Build a Champions Team

Introducing…The MEG (Monthly Engaged Giving) Meal, a substantive integrated package of services and giver engagement that makes life easier and more peaceful for development teams and donors alike. And the best part is that the MEG Meal keeps givers coming back month after month.

MEGables August 2018 - Volume 12...The Game-Changing Keystone Habit

Introducing…The MEG (Monthly Engaged Giving) Meal, a substantive integrated package of services and giver engagement that makes life easier and more peaceful for development teams and donors alike. And the best part is that the MEG Meal keeps givers coming back month after month.

MEGables July 2018 - Volume 11...Go for Lovegevity

Introducing…The MEG (Monthly Engaged Giving) Meal, a substantive integrated package of services and giver engagement that makes life easier and more peaceful for development teams and donors alike. And the best part is that the MEG Meal keeps givers coming back month after month.

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.

 

MEGables May 2018 - Volume 9...Doing Something Good Together

Doing Something Good Together

Engaged giving is better than transaction giving. It’s better for the cause and more gratifying for the giver.

Ok…most fundraisers would agree on that, but… what elements contribute to making giving engaging?

Yes, consistency is a factor. In the case of “monthly giving”, it is automatic and recurring. With that…if it stops at consistency, monthly giving is merely transactional giving that repeats every month…aka “recurring giving”.

That consistency opens the door for a potential two-way communication path between the university or nonprofit and the donor. It’s how that path, or “engagement bridge”, is intentionally built and systematically nurtured with special “member” communications, benefits, recognition and unique “insider” opportunities that transforms a transactional tie into an engaged giving relationship.

Real engagement is now happening and that’s reason to celebrate. With that, there’s yet another element, a secret sauce of sorts, that offers an opportunity to inspire giver engagement at an even higher level.

It’s consistently explaining and promoting that as monthly givers in support of insert name of university/nonprofit, we’re in this together. We’re part of a team that is giving and making a difference. For most people that’s something extra special. It’s an even higher level of gratification.

So…what does that explanation sound like?

A single monthly gift may not seem like much… but when you combine my gift…with your gift… and everyone else’s monthly gifts, we can make a major impact.

What can you do to facilitate that sense of team amongst your monthly givers?

Create opportunities for them to meet each other and even to collaborate on efforts to promote the program and recruit new team members.

Engaged giving at its finest, means… Doing Something Good Together.


She Has a Different Brain

A fundraising leader recently asked why we thought Monthly Engaged Giving (MEG) would revolutionize donor engagement.

As strange as it may sound, a simple answer is that she has a different brain.

Why does her brain matter?

Donors have changed. The new cohorts of givers, Gen Xers and Millennials, grew up with cable, computers, video games and the internet.

As the MTV and Reality TV generations, they know digital media and social media. They expect two-way communication. They want to be engaged in new ways. And, they've influenced their Baby Boomer parents to expect the same.

Monthly Giving Expert

More than ever, Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials are searching for meaning in their lives.

Traditional appeals are declining in effectiveness. Response rates have gone down and costs have increased. And, while they remain valuable tools, direct mail and phones are no longer fundraising panaceas.

Individual donor fundraising methods have been slow to evolve.

Primarily driven by dominant left brain thinking, most outreach has been a numbers game with a transactional focus and feel. If we send direct mail to or call this many people, we can expect a return on investment of x%.

Givers are looking for something more.

What if connecting with donors felt less left brain transactional and more like doing something good together?

In his book, A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink suggests that right brain aptitudes will lead our world going forward. He calls it the Conceptual Age and describes the six senses required to thrive in the new era:

1) Design

2) Story

3) Symphony

4) Empathy

5) Play

6) Meaning

Monthly Engaged Giving is about emotionally engaging design, sharing stories and helping givers find meaning in their lives. She demonstrates empathy and she brings the parts together through symphony. MEG is right brain dominant and she likes to play.

Will she revolutionize donor engagement?

It’s impossible to predict for sure. With that, you can be confident...she has the right brain.

MEGables April 2018 - Volume 8...Power Up

Power Up

Are you hitting the proverbial brick wall in persuading senior leadership about the importance of investing in monthly giving? Or perhaps your monthly giving program has plateaued and you're wanting to strategically re-engage leadership and your team?

If so, it may be time for a power-up. That's gaming vernacular for earning more of the right resources to help you get where you want to go.

Before deciding how to power-up, take a step back. Pause and survey your leadership's fundraising priorities landscape. What are the top three fundraising priorities for this year? 

It wouldn't be a surprise if some variation of "meeting this year's total dollar goal" and "major gifts totaling $_____________" are on that top three list. Why? Because hitting dollar goals is how leaders keep their jobs and getting big dollar gifts are almost always the fastest possible way to get to a near-term dollar goal.

 So...what's our power-up recommendation? 

Attach your case for monthly giving program investment to senior leadership's top priorities. Most commonly that means helping them to remember something they intuitively already know, which is that the people they are targeting for major gifts are part of a finite group that needs to be replenished. And those people haven't always had the capacity or the inclination to give major gifts. It took time and engagement to get them to that point.

Every giver is somewhere in the pipeline. There may be 5-10% of all givers that are major gift ready now. Monthly giving is a way to systematically acquire, lovingly engage, and perpetually grow the other 90%...the rest of the pipeline. That's the case for investment. It's real and it resonates with leadership.

Call it pipeline power-up persuasion.


Energizer Bunnies

They just keep giving and giving and giving and giving.

And, it turns out that they keep giving even after their batteries are drained.

There are several fascinating insights about monthly giving in a classic monthly giving focused Chronicle of Philanthropy article titled, "Monthly Giving Can Add Up to Robust and Steady Revenue for Charities" (March 10, 2013).

One that is particularly intriguing is the below description of monthly giving's long-term impact on planned giving.

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"...about two thirds of the donors that have made pledges to her (the) organization in their wills are monthly donors."

It's commonly known that monthly givers are famously loyal, long-term donors with a typical giving tenure of five-plus years and that their life-time values are seven times those of traditional one-time/eclectic givers.

 

But who would expect that their generosity continues beyond the grave?

Energizer bunnies, they are.

MEGables March 2018 - Volume 7...Make it a WIG and Use Lead Measures

Make it a WIG and Use Lead Measures

It's one thing to recognize the transformative promise of monthly giving and make it a strategic fundraising priority. It's entirely another to execute...to deliver on that promise.

What's one proven approach that several of our customers with the fastest growing monthly giving programs employ?

They make monthly giving a WIG (Wildly Important Goal) and they use lead measures.

In their bestselling book, The 4 Disciplines of Execution, the authors (McChesney, Covey, and Huling), present a compelling and now many times proven methodology to help companies and nonprofits achieve their most important goals.

Arguably, the three most important words in the 4DX vernacular are:

Whirlwind - The happenings and demands of one's regular job. These are our often urgent, but rarely vital day-to-day activities. The whirlwind takes time away from achieving WIGs.

WIG - Wildly Important Goal, a goal that will make all the difference for the org or the team...overall or in a strategically important part of your mission.

 Lead Measures - The authors write, "Unlike lag measures, which tell you if you have achieved your goal, lead measures tell you if you are likely to achieve your goal." They insightful explain, "Great teams invest their best efforts in those few activities that have the most impact on the WIGs: lead measures."

What's an example of monthly giving program WIG and lead measure set?

WIG = Recruiting 150 new members for our insert monthlygiving program name in the period beginning insert date and ending insert date.

Lead Measure #1 = number of people to whom we make quality, personal monthly giving specific appeals. Our experience has taught us that when we make intentional focused monthly giving asks, either 1:1 or in small-medium size in-person group settings, we have an average sign-up rate of 25%. Our plan calls for engaging 400 people this way with an expected yield of 100 new monthly givers.

Lead Measure #2 = number of live phone-a-thon conversations with Lybunt donors in which we present monthly giving as the first giving option. We have just over 1,000 Lybunts. This segment has a 10% monthly giving adoption rate, the highest of any of our phone segments. We expect to add 100 new monthly givers from this group.


Bumper Sticker Theory

Ever find yourself stopped in traffic behind a car that is plastered with bumper stickers?

You may be like me. If so, you go into a rapid eye movement drill to read as many of them as possible before the light turns green.

Now... even a few minutes later, consider, what you remember.

Monthly Giving Expert

A bit fuzzy?

You may be drawing a blank...me too.

Now, consider this. The car in front of you has a single sticker centered on the back bumper.

It reads:

"Nothing Stops a Bullet Like a Job". You remember. And...that's the bumper sticker theory.

 

MEGables February 2018 - Volume 6...Pitch with Persuasive Power Words

Pitch with Persuasive Power Words

As we all know, words are powerful. They often make the difference between yes and no. Five words that have been cited as the most persuasive are: you, because, free, instantly and new.

What's an example of a proven, successful monthly giver recruiting pitch that uses persuasive power words?

"Become a Match MakerMatch Makers are monthly givers. As a Match Makeryou help create a new match every month. Your steady support provides the resources to recruit Bigs to match with waiting Littles, kids like insert first name of specific Little featured in narrative, and to help those friendships thrive over time. Because of the steady giving of Match Makers...generous people like younew life-changing friendships are created every month and the lives of kids like insert name of specific Little are instantly changed... forever."

Persuasive verbiage...right? And, we are providing that example without any cost to you. It's free. Please do employ persuasive power words in all your appeals, monthly giving and others, too.


Pixar's Practically Perfect Pitch

Arguably the greatest story teller of our time is Pixar Animation Studies.

Since 1995 Pixar has released seventeen films with total gross proceeds of $9.5 billion plus. Eight of them won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Toy StoryFinding Nemo, and The Incredibles are three of their most widely celebrated movies.

Pixar formula once a upon a time 43793552_m reduced.jpg

So...what can fundraisers learn from Pixar?

You may be surprised to know that Pixar has a "story formula" of sorts. 

Emma Coats, a story artist who previously worked at the studio, suggests that every 

Pixar movie shares the same narrative structure...and, thanks to Coats, it's publicly available:

Once upon a time ____________________________. Every day, _______________. One day ________________________________. Because of that, _____________________________. Until finally _____________________.

Call it Pixar's practically perfect pitch.

Like Pixar's acclaimed films, the best monthly giving programs have a repeat-able formula for the telling and selling of their great monthly giving program stories.

Think of it as a custom-crafted master screenplay and script for monthly giving asks.

What's your pitch?

MEGables January 2018 - Volume 5 Built to Last...Part 3 of 3

Built to Last...Part 3 of 3

Monthly giving programs are only as strong as the giver experiences they deliver and as the people and processes that guide and systemize them.

Some programs are shooting stars that rise and quickly burn out. Others steadily grow and then hit a plateau, where they linger. The special ones are those that take flight and keep growing year-after year.

What do the special ones have in common?

Long-term thriving monthly giving programs are intentionally launched and strategically nurtured with special care for the three Ps: Product, People, and Process. 

Product - As described in, MEGables Volume 3.

People - As described in the previous edition, MEGables Volume 4.

Process - Product and people together are usually enough to propel monthly giving programs to a first major milestone of say 100 monthly givers or so. Beyond that point, minor problems become major headaches that siphon away resources and energy that could be invested in growing membership faster and better engaging members. The third P, Process, is the most critical P for facilitating the efficient scaling of your monthly giving program. 

Process is what prevents the program from plateauing and backsliding as so often happens after that first milestone is reached. The visionary leader understands the vital importance of that process structure and insists that a master monthly giving program "how-to" guide be created, followed, and regularly fine-tuned. Process is the not-so-secret formula for scaling new monthly giver sign-ups and for "Systemizing the Love" for all members.

The three Ps working together...how monthly giving programs are built to last.


Fresh Ingredients

Stories. 

They are the emotional and intellectual hooks that attract and endear monthly givers. First, they draw us in and then they remind us of why we are giving to the mission.
It's one thing to prepare a few stories that inspire supporters to become monthly donors.

Experts in Monthly Giving

But that's where 99% of monthly giving programs stop. They miss the    uber-valuable ongoing supporter engagement opportunity.
What's the disconnect?

Consistent, ongoing monthly giver engagement takes careful planning. Historically, that stewardship process including capturing impact stories to share with donors, was tedious, time consuming and expensive.

Times have changed. Thanks to ever-improving technology and innovative thinking, setting up an efficient system to engage donors, including producing and sharing new stories is significantly easier and less expensive than ever before. 

Everyday smart phones allow for quick and easy capture of video and digital photos on the same camera. On the story sharing side, social media and site content management systems give the stories a vehicle for virtually instant sharing. 

Additional tools like e-mail, text and user-friendly apps help universities and nonprofits leverage stories across multiple mediums. 

Monthly givers can access stories and special member content according to their own schedules and preferences. 

The Happy Meal

The Happy Meal

 MEG knows her friendship psychology.

Put an entrée, side item, drink and toy in a colorful box.

Give it a simple lovable name and what do you have?

The Happy Meal.

Conceived by Bob Bernstein of Bernstein-Rein Advertising, the Happy Meal helped McDonalds minimize the problem of kids picking at their parents’ food, simultaneously entertaining kids and buying parents precious moments of peace.

Fabulously successful since its 1979 introduction in the United States, it’s a delightful product story with marketing lessons for businesses, universities and nonprofits alike.

*Substance - A full meal at a reasonable price, a box and toy with entertainment value and shelf life and the intangibles of convenience and family peace. That’s a recipe for repeat customers.

*Engagement – Kid friendly stories, colorful illustrations and pictures, and factoids on the box coupled with a toy to take home. What kid wouldn’t be asking Mom and Dad to eat at McDonald’s?

*Packaging – The box is the vehicle for the substance and the engagement. It brings it all together for ease, convenience and fun!

Development Leaders: Are you craving a colorfully packaged, substantive, and engaging fundraising program (meal) for the 90% plus of your givers that give less than $1,000 a year?

Introducing…The MEG (Monthly Engaged Giving) Meal, a substantive integrated package of services and giver engagement that makes life easier and more peaceful for development teams and donors alike. And the best part is that the MEG Meal keeps givers coming back month after month.

MEGables December 2017 - Volume 4

Built to Last...Part 2 of 3

Monthly giving programs are only as strong as the giver experiences they deliver and as the people and processes that guide and systemize them.

Some programs are shooting stars that rise and quickly burn out. Others steadily grow and then hit a plateau, where they linger. The special ones are those that take flight and keep growing year-after year.

What do the special ones have in common?

Long-term thriving monthly giving programs are intentionally launched and strategically nurtured with special care for the three Ps: Product, People, and Process. 

Product – As described in the previous edition, MEGables Volume 3.

People – Vision, tenacity, and consistency are the critical qualities of the leaders and doers that launch, lead, and manage long-term successful monthly giving programs. Usually there are two individuals (two roles) working in tandem, a dynamic duo of sorts, that are especially vital to launching and shepherding the most enduringly successful programs.

One half of the duo is the visionary leader. She or he is the one who sees monthly giving as a strategic fundraising priority. This leader understands that monthly giving delivers a predictable and growing revenue stream and becomes a relationship framework for systematically engaging donors with the mission of the university or organization. Additionally, the visionary leader knows that a monthly giving program is part of a donor relationship continuum and serves as a sort of farm system for cultivating givers that often go on to become major givers and legacy donors. Using his or her influence power and tenacity, the visionary leader garners top leadership and staff support and wins investment approval for the program. That leader takes the critical next step of finding the other half of the “dynamic duo,” the right person to handle the day-to-day marketing and operations execution of the program.

The other half of the duo helps operationalize the program. She or he should be adept at establishing processes and with building relationships. With mentoring and support from the visionary leader, this day-to-day program manager is the people-power that allows the program to get past the fragile program infancy stage in which many monthly giving efforts fail. The manager puts the processes in place that allow the program to scale and get to critical mass for sustainability. A rule-of-thumb for critical mass is membership of 100 to 150 monthly givers.

Departures of one of the two or the duo before the program reaches critical mass often is a significant setback. The longer the tenure of the dynamic duo, the more predictable the monthly giving program’s growth trajectory will be.

The second P, people, is the most vital of the three Ps. Only people have the capacity to inspire, create, manage and adapt. That said, without a carefully crafted first P, Product, as described in MEGables Volume 3 (insert link to MEGables Volume 3 here) and the third P, Process, your monthly giving program will not realize its full potential. 

Stay tuned for MEGables Volume 5 in January 2018 to feature Built to Last...Part 3 of 3 with a primary focus on the third P, Process.


MEG Grows with Young Pros and Alumni Advocates

 Given their own giving capacity and those of their personal connections, it’s natural that Executive Board members would be integral to nonprofits’ and universities’ major gift outreach and capital campaign efforts.

But what about Young Professional groups and Alumni Advisory Councils and Class Agents?

Some of the fastest growing Monthly Engaged Giving, MEG, programs engage young professionals and alumni advocates as monthly givers and recruiting champions. Their personal networks may not all be ready to entertain major gift asks or to buy $4,000 event table sponsorships. With that, for these groups, appeals to fellow alumni, friends, family, and other professionals for modest monthly gifts feel downright comfortable.

It happens naturally, and by design.

MEG grows with young pros and alumni advocates.

Young Pros rtf 48644962_s.jpg

With the switch, study participants could not consistently differentiate between butter and margarine. In another separate test, he asked participants to taste test the "white" margarine against a "yellow" version of the same margarine that had been wrapped in foil. In those days foil was a sign of quality.

The yellow margarine wrapped in foil was the overwhelming winner evidencing how consumers' transfer their favorable perceptions of the packaging, design and color, to the product itself.

The result?

Cheskin's recommendations were implemented. His client's margarine sales soared, the product category saw explosive growth and the principle of Sensation Transference was validated by consumer behavior.

What does all this have to do with fundraising and Monthly Engaged Giving?

Offering monthly giving as a bland, undifferentiated option without unique branding, engaging stories and creative design is like going to market with white margarine in wax paper. It might win a few members, but it isn't likely to endear your supporters and it certainly won't yield the revenue results that you need and want.

MEG, Monthly Engaged Giving programs are different by design. They're custom crafted with real substance and unique and engaging packaging.

Sensation Transference. Yes, it's a MEG effect.

MEG (Monthly Engaged Giving) is TwelveX's "Monthly Giving In-a-Box" fundraising methodology for recruiting new givers, engaging supporters, and boosting retention like never before.

twelveXgiving.com  |  913-254-3585

 

MEGables November 2017 - Volume 3

Built to Last...Part 1 of 3

Monthly giving programs are only as strong as the giver experiences they deliver and as the people and processes that guide and systemize them.

Some programs are shooting stars that rise and quickly burn out. Others steadily grow and then hit a plateau, where they linger. The special ones are those that take flight and keep growing year-after year.

What do the special ones have in common?

Long-term thriving monthly giving programs are intentionally launched and strategically nurtured with special care for the three Ps: Product, People, and Process. 

Product - When crafted and managed well, monthly giving programs provide a unique and consistently engaging giving experience for their members. The better the product ("the giving experience"), the more monthly givers that will join and continue supporting the mission. While there are multiple elements that come together to create that consistent, special giver experience, two elements are vital.

First, the monthly giving program must have a unique identity. That special brand, which typically includes a signature program name, tagline, and logo, "connects" the giver to the organization or university and mission, signaling to the giver that he or she is part of a special group that is working together to advance the cause.

Second, the organization or university, must methodically engage members with brand consistent communications and opportunities, such that the product ("the giving experience") continues to be vibrant and valuable for them. Those touch points are channels for mission specific people impact stories and even volunteer experiences that illustrate the power of their monthly giving. The best practice process for delivering consistently special monthly giver experiences is well described as "Systemizing the Love".

Though the first P, product, plays a vital program role as the substance of members' monthly giving experience, it is critically interdependent with the other Ps, people and process.

Stay tuned for MEGables Volume 4 and Volume 5 that will feature Built to Last...Part 2 of 3 and Built to Last...Part 3 of 3. In turn, they will focus on the other two Ps, people and process.


Sensation Transference, a MEG Effect

 Why are product marketers so obsessed with packaging?

Many would argue that Louis Cheskin's widely accepted, principle of Sensation Transference should get much of the credit...or blame.

Sensation Transference is Cheskin's coined name for his discovery that most people simply transfer their feelings about packaging to the product or service as a whole.

This principle has been repeatedly confirmed over time through independent research. With that, Cheskin orchestrated a 1940's "Margarine versus Butter" research experiment that proved the theory.

At the time, margarine was white in color and was not very popular relative to butter. For the experiment, Cheskin changed the color of the margarine to yellow, the same color as butter. 

Experts in University Monthly Giving

With the switch, study participants could not consistently differentiate between butter and margarine. In another separate test, he asked participants to taste test the "white" margarine against a "yellow" version of the same margarine that had been wrapped in foil. In those days foil was a sign of quality.

The yellow margarine wrapped in foil was the overwhelming winner evidencing how consumers' transfer their favorable perceptions of the packaging, design and color, to the product itself.

 

The result?

Cheskin's recommendations were implemented. His client's margarine sales soared, the product category saw explosive growth and the principle of Sensation Transference was validated by consumer behavior.

What does all this have to do with fundraising and Monthly Engaged Giving?

Offering monthly giving as a bland, undifferentiated option without unique branding, engaging stories and creative design is like going to market with white margarine in wax paper. It might win a few members, but it isn't likely to endear your supporters and it certainly won't yield the revenue results that you need and want.

MEG, Monthly Engaged Giving programs are different by design. They're custom crafted with real substance and unique and engaging packaging.

Sensation Transference. Yes, it's a MEG effect.

MEG (Monthly Engaged Giving) is TwelveX's "Monthly Giving In-a-Box" fundraising methodology for recruiting new givers, engaging supporters, and boosting retention like never before.

 

twelveXgiving.com  |  913-254-3585

 

MEGables September 2017 - Volume 1...Pattern Interupt

Replace "Fork-in-the-Road" with "Pattern-Interrupt"

Often, when individual donor asks are made, monthly giving is not mentioned at all, or it is offered almost as an afterthought. And, when monthly giving is presented, too often it is proposed merely as a "Fork-in-the-Road" option.  

The "Fork-in-the-Road" presentation, in condensed form, sounds something like this, "You can make a one-time gift...and here are a few suggested gift amounts or you can make a recurring gift by checking this box." That approach rarely inspires us to become monthly givers. Why? Because we are creatures of habit. We stick with what we know, the familiar pattern, the comfortable. Since we are most familiar and comfortable with giving one-time gifts, it is a comfort zone for us. And, unless a catalyst or "Pattern-Interrupt" of some kind, prompts us to do something different, we stay in our "one-time gift" comfort zones.

A "Pattern-Interrupt" is, as the term suggests, a different take, a unique and compelling perspective. In the case of an individual donor ask, it would be a fresh and engaging explanation of the case for monthly giving in general and as it specifically relates to the mission.

Below is an example of a pattern-interrupt explanation that makes the case for monthly giving.

"Over time, Franciscan University has learned that traditional one-time gifts, while important and much appreciated (slight pause...) are inconsistent from year-to-year. By contrast, monthly giving tends to be highly predictable. Franciscan also has learned that eclectic or one-time giving often translates to you, our supporters, not consistently feeling engaged with the mission in a meaningful way."

"We launched our monthly giving program, Franciscan Fire, to invite alumni, parents and friends to experience a deeper share of the mission. Monthly givers...people just like you, form a loyal group of supporters - a marvelous team that moves the mission forward. With the generosity of this team of dedicated givers, that mission comes to life... educating students in Christ. Forming souls. And sending forth joyful disciples. Monthly giving is an easy, bite-size, and engaging way for you to be an ongoing and consistent part of this most important mission."


Props and Cues

What makes it easier to do the right thing in the best way at the right time?

Props and cues do.

On the stage, at work, and in virtually every facet of our lives, we use them to stay on track. In their absence we tend to act inconsistently, often making things up as we go.

Monthly Giving Expert

Sometimes impromptu is good enough, but when it's not, we want our props and cues.

For development teams every ask is an important one. That is why every MEG (Monthly Engaged Giving) program includes customized ask screenplays with specific props and cues like welcome gifts, pledge forms, and memorable calls to action.

 

So when MEG says to mind your P's and Cues, she's not just saying, she's doing.