Naturally you want to increase the average gift of your donor base.
But since there’s no set formula for moving your donors to a higher giving level, the best thing to do is to think strategically and test smart. Here are some ideas to boost your donors’ average gift:
- Say why the donors should increase their gift amount. Give donors a solid reason to donate more — a new program, new facility, new initiative, or a big vision. Don’t overlook this. You have to capture your donors’ imagination and fuel her aspirations about making a difference to encourage a bigger gift.
- Stress your relationship with the donor. Send prompt, relevant thank-you letters that refer back to the original appeal, and use your newsletters to report on progress. Donor stewardship is vital to an average gift increase. A strong relationship is the right backdrop for asking donors to give more.
- Test the gift string. The gift string is the gift amount options that your donor can choose from, generally provided in a direct mail appeal or online giving page. This is where the action is, so think about what you can test. Depending on your offer and your audience, one or more of these variables could generate a noticeable increase:
- Increase the smallest gift amount by a marginal amount, say, $5.
- Add a red circle around the upgrade amount with a handwritten note saying something like, “Many people give this!” Suggestions like this can work. Simply Written, our sister company, makes it easy to create personalized handwritten cards that can make a clear difference in your donor relationships.
- Instead of providing multiple fundraising amount options, try having a single dollar amount in the gift string. This highlights the upgrade.
- Base the gift string on the highest past gift instead of last gift and see whether donors will return to that amount.
- Rearrange the amounts in the gift string. Instead of going from lowest to highest, try something like this: $45, $25, $75, Other: $____. Here, the $25 upgrade amount looks more appealing sitting between two larger amounts.
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