It’s no secret that regular givers are the lifeblood for so many charities. A continuous income stream enables organisations to plan ahead, budget for the future and, ultimately, to use funds even more effectively. So, what can you do to make your donors feel as valued as they really are and improve the supporter experience?
Good supporter care is not only about how we communicate with donors and express our thanks. When you think that the first direct interaction from a supporter is often a donation itself, it’s important never to neglect the payment experience.
The supporter experience begins before the first donation is made. After all you’ve done to engage your potential supporter, you don’t want to risk losing them at the first hurdle so make it as easy as possible for them to donate. This means making sure they can find out what they need to know about donating from your website, in printed materials and through your social channels. Keep the wording clear and informative, helping supporters understand what you’re asking them to do and what this will enable you to achieve.
With more and more people choosing to make payments online, be sure to give your supporters the opportunity to donate and set up their regular giving via Direct Debit online. Check that your donation pages are mobile optimised and that people can quickly and easily Gift Aid their donation. The whole experience should be fast, efficient, painless and, of course, secure.
There is no hard and fast rule about the best date to collect money each month or week, or what is the right amount to ask supporters to give.
The truth is that everyone’s circumstances are different, and that makes it all the more important to test what works best for your supporter base. Try offering different collection dates and amounts and see how responses differ. Wherever possible, ensure there is some flexibility in both the timing and value level of donations.
If your supporters have just donated, this is the time to acknowledge their gift and thank them, not to ask for more. Make sure you tailor your communication schedule around each phase of a supporter journey, including a prompt and personalised thank you message at the outset, giving you an opportunity to show them how much you value their gift.
Why not set up an automated messaging or trigger communications programme to confirm their gift or any subsequent changes? This can enable you to spend more time on nurturing that relationship over the long-term and to identify future touchpoints to re-engage with each supporter, such as payment anniversaries.
The public wants to have a say not only in which charity they support, but how much and how often they give. What’s more, no matter how committed supporters are, it’s important to recognise that people’s circumstances change. If we offer supporters more choice and control over their giving, they are far less likely to cancel their Direct Debit and walk away from the relationship at times when money is tight.
Consider giving supporters the option to take control of their payments, enabling them to adjust the amount of their gift, payment dates and even to take a payment holiday, using a tool like Rapidata’s Control My Payment. Remember that the payment platform itself offers charities another place to engage with supporters about new appeals or reminding them how much their gifts are valued and why they signed up in the first place.
Rapidata’s eDirectDebit platform is a secure and trusted online service that integrates Direct Debit payment processing within any charity’s website, enabling supporters to sign up quickly and easily. Providing dedicated support for all our clients, we also offer a full range of managed Direct Debit processing services, online platforms to monitor and manage payments, integration with your own database systems and communications schedule, and regular reporting so that you can focus on meeting the needs of your beneficiaries. Find out more and contact our expert team today.