We’ve heard it before… there’s a sudden desire across your charity for a push on regular giving. However, the optimum way ahead seems uncertain, everyone’s become an overnight expert and your fellow ‘passengers’ don’t realise that to significantly uplift income you need to buckle up for a longer ride.

Good thing that Pebblebeach have the roadmap for navigating RG success! Come take a drive with us, we’ll show you the way…

Who is your audience?
A great starting point is robust data analysis to fully understand the make-up of your individuals supporter base. Recency, frequency and value are key metrics to apply alongside supporter motivations (you should collect this data!). This will help guide you towards more efficient targeting within future fundraising activity by reducing costs, increasing income and so ultimately improving your ROI.

Proposition is everything
The most effective fundraising proposition will make it easy to ask prospects to support your charity’s needs and align with their own interests. Reinvigorating your regular giving proposition shouldn’t be tricky, try strengthening ‘why’ supporters should give, make it tangible and be clear on what the money will achieve. 

Have a plan!
Regular giving is dependent on cash giving and cash givers, in turn, often become regular givers. So, when regular-giving promotion is being planned for, consideration should simultaneously be made for cash activity. Recruitment of new regular givers should always be balanced with development of existing supporters. And, it should go without saying, that an ask should never be made at the expense of a thank you. 

If you don’t have one already, a structured programme of activity is the way forward – we like to think of it as a matrix. Having a clear, timetabled approach will help bring other departments along for the ride, especially the Finance Team and admin functions.

Good supporter care pays for itself
When looking to optimise regular giving there are some absolute basics to cover. At every touchpoint, are you doing your best to capture the supporter data you need to maximise income? Prioritise phone numbers, email addresses and their related contact preferences. Remember supporter first names to improve personalisation, first initials and home addresses to uplift Gift Aid income.

Another focus should be on mailing addresses and management of goneaways. Consider a ‘two strikes’ approach before marking someone as ‘no mail.’ You can’t always rely on return notifications and you don’t want to miss off any opportunities of future support.

Measure supporter data and begin to report against it, ensuring the whole team is accountable.

Process and procedure – it’s not to be sniffed at
It’s worth revisiting the administrative elements of your regular-giving activity, mapping and documenting associated processes. Doing so will improve the standards of supporter care that are so critical when it comes to regular giving and ensure that reconciliation and compliance obligations are met. You will also help the whole team achieve an understanding and buy-in as to who is doing what and when.

Sail that stewardship
To improve stewardship, it’s worth mapping out the key supporter touchpoints to give you a holistic view of the different stages. What is the entire regular-giving experience for your supporters? Then you can work out how and when to incorporate key opportunities that will enhance your stewardship journey and help you to stand out from the competition.

One last thing, hold off on any significant regular-giving activity until effective reporting is established and embedded. To demonstrate regular-giving success, develop automated database reports that once set up can be run on a regular basis. As a starting point, alongside income, you should report on new sign-ups, cancellations and follow-up contact. This way you can start to see progress being made and the journey supporters are taken on.

We’ve come to the end of the road, but these are just some of the opportunities available to you to maximise this vital, sustainable income stream.

We’re hosting a Regular Giving Masterclass webinar on Thursday 23 May at 1pm where we’ll discuss all this and more. Everyone’s welcome, so go get your ticket here.

Alternatively, if you’d like to arrange a meeting with me for a discussion tailored to your charity, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line on hello@pebblebeachfundraising.com

Elley Martin
Client Partnerships Director