If your station hasn’t begun to push electronic giving, you are way behind the curve. The good news is it’s never to late to begin. If you are already pushing for electronic gifts, this article will help you go to the next level.
Depending on who you are listening to, the following stats should encourage you to really push electronic giving. For those donors who commit to sending you a monthly check, on average you receive 5-9 of the 12 checks you are hoping for. With electronic giving it’s 12 out of 12 the vast majority of the time. I hit up Jeff Scott, Sean Sawatzky and Kevin Krueger about how electronic giving has impacted their station. I have to be honest with you, I am not really surprised by what they have written for us today. I’ve been at every fundraiser KLRC has had over the last 20 years, I’ve known Jeff Scott for years and have worked with Kevin for over a decade. I can actually remember when these radio guys decided to move toward electronic giving as their primary way of giving for their donors.
Jeff Scott, Manager for WBGL FM
“We receive 55% of our funds, electronically. That includes EFT and credit cards. Our retention rate is much higher because of electronic giving and we don’t experience the traditional “summer slump” in giving that we use to. Both of our on air fund raisers have become more like friend raisers trying to engage new and lapsed donors. Having a system that watches expiration dates and proactively notifies donors of their upcoming out of date cards is not only a service to the donor, but also imperative to a successful bottom line.”
Sean Sawatzky, General Manager for KLRC FM
“It’s hard to think of a single thing that has more positively impacted our giving program than electronic giving. We’ve offered credit card, debit card, and bank draft giving for years, but it used to be a secondary payment method for us. Today, when a donor calls during Sharathon, the assumption is that they’re going to give electronically. We’ve adapted our software and phone volunteer training to make credit/debit card giving the first option we present donors after they’ve called to make a pledge. In our most recent pledge drive, 78% of our monthly donors chose to give electronically. This number has grown a little more every year. There’s an increasing comfort level among consumers when it comes to paying for things electronically and this can translate into great benefits for ministries like ours.
The first benefit is pretty obvious – our monthly fulfillment has increased significantly. But, we’ve seen other benefits as well. Remember those summer slump months? Those are nowhere the challenge today that they used to be. You know how hard we all work to get pledge renewals before our pledge drives? We’re starting each Sharathon stronger than the last because electronic donors understand that they’re providing an ongoing, sustaining level of support – support that you can count on before the on-air portion of Sharathon begins.
The best part is that donors share in these benefits. We’re better stewards of their gift because we’re not using the resources we once used in order to collect their monthly gifts. Their monthly giving is greatly simplified and has an even greater Kingdom impact, which is why they’re giving to begin with. It truly is win-win.”
Kevin Krueger, Vice President/General Manager for WGTS FM
“Making it easy for listeners to give monthly through a recurring EFT or CC donation has changed our ministry significantly. The huge “bumps” in the monthly giving chart coinciding with our on-air fundraisers have smoothed out a lot. This makes our accounting department happy and it makes me ecstatic. From a planning perspective it allows us to manage God’s funds more strategically. It provides stability.”
There are a few different ways you can encourage your listeners to begin transferring over to debit, credit card EFT during your events.
On-Air: During your fundraiser you’ll want to use the term electronic giving, EZ Give or something close to that when asking for a monthly gifts. I would strongly encourage you to make these on going gifts. Why in the Sam heck would you put an end date on a donation? You ask your listeners for monthly on going support that’s electronic. You can assure them they have total control over their donation at any time. Many of your listeners will put their monthly gift on card and never think about it again.
Call Center: The volunteers in your call center play a huge roll in making sure the electronic giving actually takes place. Keep in mind 80 percent of homes that have the internet pay at least one bill online and that was back in 2009. Needless to say, electronic giving has gone mainstream. So when your operator answers the call, have them ask the listener what card they would like to place that on? It’s amazing how many people will grab a debit or credit card to make their donation. If the listener requests to give by check, you of course can make that happen and everyone is happy. One phrase comes to mind when I see an operator taking an electronic gift is, “Boom Shakalaka.” That Hebrew for God has provided or just a weird Bill Scott phrase LOL.
Give Them Something: Having a gift that is associated with a monthly electronic donation can really get people excited. As a matter of fact I have an item today that your station should really, and again I say really, consider. This could really help shape your next fundraiser for some great results for your electronic monthly giving.
The Ultimate Bundle: I would give this awesome gift to each person that does $30 a month donation on credit card. If they are currently giving by check, I would ask them to make the switch and the gift is theirs. Here is the cool thing, it’s sent to them electronically, they can actually have their gift within 15 minutes of donating. What is The Ultimate Bundle? It’s $700 worth of timeless, modern and high-demand e-books and content. This works with the IRS 2% rule as well. I can explain that if you are interested when you call. The great thing is you don’t have to pay for this until your fundraiser is finished. More great news, the bundle only cost your station $10.40 and that includes the service and support to your donors. Just think, an investment of $10.40 can get you a $360 credit card donation leaving your station with 349.60 profit and a donor who gives monthly on their credit card. Keep in mind payment is not required until 24 hours after your fundraiser or after submitting a CSV list of your donors that you want to send the bundle too. Your listeners info will not be shared with anyone, I know that’s a huge deal for your station. I love it because this will encourage your listeners to give $30 a month on credit card or whatever price you set. You don’t have to package and mail the gift after your fundraiser and you don’t have to pay for it before your fundraiser. Look, I’ve done over 600 fundraisers at over 100 stations and when I saw this I got excited. It’s not too late to tap into this before your Fall fundraiser. Email me at bill@ShareMediaServices.com or just call my direct line at 615-525-5570 and I can get you all the info and have you signed up in no time. I am personally excited to get out on the road to use this with clients this fall. Let’s chat this week. If you get my voicemail, just leave me a message. As I write this, all I hear in my head is CHA-CHING! I love tools that encourage your listeners to get involved with your station at a deeper level.
As we enter the Fall fundraising season, it shouldn’t be business as usual. Lets look for things we can do in order to enhance your next fundraiser. Little adjustments here and there can make a huge difference for your station financially.