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We find ourselves in lockdown and many people will be tightening their belts and considering their monthly spend, but in times of crisis, generally, people want to help others. There’s never been a more important need to look at what help and reassurance we can offer our supporters, to listen to their needs and to help them to keep on supporting the charities they care about.
And there is plenty we can do to enable them to support without placing any extra or unnecessary burden upon them.
We know from our research that donors want more control over their regular payments and this will be particularly true during the current COVID-19 outbreak. Giving supporters flexibility to manage their payments during these challenging times will be key in terms of avoiding attrition and stabilising cash flow.
Look then at providing options for your supporters that offer an alternative to a one step donation cancellation. Offering an alternative, such as skipping a payment or pausing payments, or even simply adjusting the amount they give, and a choice of the date they give it on, can make all the difference.
Skipping or pausing payments is of course far less damaging to a charity’s income than a cancelled Direct Debit. Proactively giving supporters greater control over their payments may help retain and build those vital relationships. As a supporter’s connection to the cause deepens, this control also makes it easier for them to increase their donations when times are easier.
Understanding the reasons for cancellations is crucial. Of course, whilst we are in these challenging times there is no doubt that some people will need to pare back financial outgoings. However, it’s still important to continue to communicate with supporters during this time, and by offering alternative options in reactivation campaigns we may soften the impact of cancellations and help to prevent supporters from feeling that their charitable giving has to fall by the wayside.
Our Control my Payment platform, a free service for our Direct Debit processing clients, offers supporters cancellation alternatives, including adjusting their donation amount, skipping a payment and taking a payment holiday.
There are certainly trying times for all of us ahead, but introducing a level of flexibility into a regular giving programme can help to make things a little easier for our supporters, and for charities too.