Every nonprofit organization I’ve raised money for has had donor “clubs.” Oddly, they didn’t seem more than a way to categorize giving levels.
When I thought of “club,” I thought of racquet ball, overstuffed leather chairs, and cigars & port. (One or two alum have invited me into these clubs.) If not that posh, I certainly think of special access and priveleges.
But we never seemed to offer that. The “clubs” seemed to be solely for our categorization, nothing really for the donors.
If you have gift clubs, are yours offering people anything? Or do all your donors get the same treatement, regardless of their giving level?
Author and business guru Michael Masterson recently wrote about clubs in his ETR ezine. Of the “psychological benefits a club can offer,” he listed:
- Fraternity: the camaraderie of like-minded people
- Purpose: the sense that, by merely being a member, you are advancing a good cause
- Status: the immediate social standing conferred by acceptance into a limited group
You can read the entire article “Does it Make Sense to Turn Your Business into a Club?.”
The good news? Even if your organization isn’t actively cultivating club benefits like fraternity, purpose, or status, donors may already feel one or more of these. When they look at the annual report, they see the other people that gave at their level. And they see the incredible work your organization is doing.
How could you harness these passive psychological benefits and intentionally reinforce them? How can you make being a donor more like being a member in a club? Special invitations to events? Special mailings?
Choose one and put it into practice this week! And feel free to comment on the blog or email me at email@example.com.
Thanks for the link to that article and the nice summary. I’m currently setting up a monthly giving program for a local NP and your post and Michael’s article gave me some great ideas about how to offer benefits.
The book Hidden Gold by Harvey McKinnon has also been a huge help in learning how to set up the monthly giving program.
Harvey’s book is terrific! I did a review for it on CharityChannel’s WeReview. Tried Googling to find the link and it doesn’t appear to be up.
But the book is VERY good. Let us know how the program goes!
To: Sandra and Marc, thanks for the kind words about Hidden Gold. (Marc, I’ve never seen your review so if you have a copy I’d lveo to see it.)
FYI: I’ve written a new book on the subject: the Tiny Guide to Committed Monthly giving, available on our website.