Remember when coffee came with two options: cream and sugar? Now, thanks to Starbucks, coffee orders are strange streams of caffeinated consciousness.
These complex coffee drinks are also the ultimate in personalization. Starbucks makes billions because it gives coffee drinkers exactly what they want.
The same principle holds true for charitable giving. People like to donate in different ways; the more options they are offered, the more likely they are to give. Here are some areas where donors should have a choice. And don’t worry. None have anything to do with coffee.
Ways to give
The 50-to-65-year-old age group is, today, the most active in charitable giving. Many in this generation respond to direct mail, but to ensure you are providing choices for them and the Millennials, the largest generation in the United States, make it possible for supporters to donate by smartphone, tablet or computer. To drive more donors online, provide information about online options in direct mail messages.
What to give
Donors like to give at different levels. But instead of simply supplying a card with suggested dollar amounts, upscale your giving program by creating club levels: Platinum, Gold and Silver, for example. Include perks at each level. At the highest level, you could offer donors a discount card for local businesses. Or, invite those donors to an event just for them. Donor levels can entice corporations or small businesses to make gifts. One of our clients, a college, offered local businesses that donated at a certain level the opportunity to use its conference space for their meetings.
When to give
Rather than give a lump sum, many donors like to break their pledge into smaller pieces, paid over time. For example, they might make a $5,000 pledge that is made over five years or an annual $2,000 gift paid in monthly installments.
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