Systemize the Love
What allows monthly giving to become monthly engaged giving?
"Monthly giving" looks something like this from the donor's perspective:
Soon after receiving an initial thank you for my "recurring monthly gift of $__", I begin to receive the organization's or university's general e-news. A drumbeat of other communications by mail, email, and even by phone, soon commences. They let me know about special events, giving days, etc., and they ask me for additional gifts. At the end of the year, a general "thank you for supporting _____" letter arrives along with a giving summary and tax receipt.
Am I feeling the love? Not so much. Why not? Because, there's nothing special about my experience. I'm lumped in with every other donor. It feels generic and "transactional" just like when I used to give one-time gifts.
Does the university or organization appreciate my giving? Of course they do. Ok, so what's the disconnect?
Love is hard work. It takes intentionality, careful planning, and disciplined execution to methodically love on one's donors. As M. Scott Peck famously said, "...love is an action, an activity...love is as love does." So how can we "bring the love" and transform "transactional" monthly giving into monthly engaged giving?
First, we embrace the wisdom that "love" and engagement grow when donors believe that they are part of something bigger than themselves.
A first step towards inspiring that sense of belonging and unique appreciation is developing a cause-specific, endearing brand for your monthly giving efforts.
A named program signals to donors that they are more than just a "sustainer" or "recurring donor". They are part of a special team with a shared purpose.
The next step is to craft a year-round member "love" (engagement) plan. Examples of common "love" plan touches include branded communications with giving impact stories, welcome/thank you SWAG items, member-specific volunteer opportunities, and dedicated appreciation receptions. The member touches and benefits are designed to engage monthly givers around the brand, the mission, and the impact they are making with their faithful monthly giving.
Developing a monthly giving program "love" plan is actually relatively easy. It's the discipline of "consistent doing" that prevents most organizations and universities from delivering on the ideal of monthly engaged giving.
So...what do those that truly deliver monthly engaged giving do differently?
They systemize the love. They create specific processes, they calendar the supporting steps, and they assign responsibility and tasks to specific team members. Finally, they intentionally manage and adapt the system over time.
Love for the Marvelous, Modest Many
What if the everyday people could have charitable giving experiences once reserved for big money givers?
Fundraising campaigns have long been conceived as relatively short term endeavors, usually 1-3 years in length and with a dominant focus on courting large gifts from foundations and wealthy individuals.
Those individuals and foundations typically receive a plethora of love and recognition in the courting, gift payment and campaign success celebration phases.
They often have their names prominently displayed, and enjoy special "insider" experiences relative to the university or cause.
MEG, Monthly Engaged Giving campaigns bring that kind of memorable, engaging experience to everyday people.
In contrast to the traditional campaign, MEG programs are perpetual campaigns designed to recruit and engage donors of more modest means, everyday small and medium size donors.
Because monthly givers are predictable long-term supporters their revenue value individually and collectively supports special treatment, custom branded monthly giver communications, special insider news and volunteer opportunities, etc.
A new charitable world is rising. Everyman and everywoman donors are feeling the love too.
MEG is all about those givers...the marvelous, modest many.