You ask, Kim answers! This is our “Dear Kim” blog, where our fundraising experts give all their inside tips, tricks and handy dandy advice in response to fundraising, peer to peer, events and crowdfunding questions submitted by YOU! In this latest post, we gathered sustainer questions! Read along to get all the juicy insights!
Want to submit your own fundraising question? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!
I’ve been working on writing giving letters and support emails to recruit sustainers. And I’m wondering, what is the best content for these types of messages? I want to get these donors interested, but don’t want to come off as too pushy.
Nervous about pushing
Hmm…content that works to recruit sustainers…it’s sort-of become the age-old question in fundraising. Well, what are the benefits to joining your sustainer program? Are there specific incentives, or special “club” benefits?
You always want to be careful and think about what your content looks like from the perspective of the donor, instead of you as the nonprofit. Make it personal; what information do you already know about the person you’re emailing that you could use in your ask content? There are many directions you can take with your messages to try and recruit sustainers. Here are a few examples:
- Tie giving to a specific impact such as, “Your dollars will go toward x number of meals to feed x number of children.”
- Explain the perks of the various levels of your sustainer membership
- Emphasize how “little” it takes each month, instead of focusing on the annual total. Focusing on the gift in smaller pieces over time can help potential sustainers feel less overwhelmed by the total amount.
- Feature compelling testimonials that give an example of why other people became sustainers.
Don’t forget, always test these messages! Examining the results you get from different content will put you on the fast track to knowing what works with your target audience. Try running split a/b tests on your audience with different messages, so you can test messages against each other and then report on which messages are yielding a greater return.
Good luck with sustaining! And remember: don’t let fear get in your way.
So far at our nonprofit, we have just focused on thanking our monthly donors. We haven’t asked for any additional dollars, or tried to get them to increase their monthly donations. Do you have any tips on how to go about doing this?
Afraid to Ask
First, good job on thanking your sustainers! This already puts you one step ahead of the process.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — if you have tiers and incentives for sustainers, educate donors about the benefits of stepping up their giving. Give details about what a higher membership level means, and ask sustainers to “join the club.” For example, your sustainer could join a “kids summer camp club,” where the extra donation will send a child to summer camp.
Ask for additional one-time gifts at specific times of the year (hint, hint: year-end giving). Another option is having your program automatically upgrade donors. Just make sure you let donors know, otherwise it could turn them away from your organization.
These suggestions should give you a good idea for where to go next in the process of additional asks. Happy asking!