Saying Thank You – Testing the Online & Direct Mail Donation Process
Thursday, 4th March 2010 at 3:51 pm
In an unusual investigation to test the online and direct mail charity donation processes in the US, consultancy firm, Amergent found that only half of the Not for Profits it ‘tested’ said thank you to donors.
Amergent says it made over 100 “secret” gifts to 70 different Not for Profit organizations to test their online donation process and their donor stewardship for both online and direct mail gifts.
It found that while there were some stellar examples, many organisations have opportunities to improve their donor retention.
The investigation found that only 52% of Not for Profits processed a direct mail gift in a week or less, and only 23% processed a credit card gift within 24 hours!
Just over half of all the NFPs actually used the words “Thank you” in the subject line and the first sentence of the email message that followed an online gift.
As well, only 44% of Not for Profits sent a direct mail appeal to new donors within 30 days. While a mere 28% of the organisations actually captured and used the email addresses that accompanied mail-in gifts.
And of the 70 organizations, only one made a phone call to thank Amergent for a gift (and to ask them to consider monthly giving).
The consultancy says processing the gift quickly, thanking the donor sincerely, and following up with another message quickly are all critical to getting a second gift.
Amergent found that donors who give again in the first 100 days are twice as likely as one-time donors to be giving three and four years later.