The ubiquitous pledge card. We’re sure, at some time or another, you’ve been on the receiving end of a pledge card from a beloved organization that you support. However, it’s always disheartening to open your mailbox only to find a generic, unpersonalized, and plain pledge card.
Talk about disappointing!
Don’t make this crucial mistake when sending your supporters a pledge card as part of your annual campaigns. One of the best ways to connect with your supporters and solicit their pledges is to ensure that your communication is personalized and curated to their individual needs.
But how do you ensure that each donor receives a personal touch – let alone when you’re mailing hundreds if not thousands of supporters?
Easy! In this blog, we’ll uncover just how easy it is to send personalized pledge cards to your supporters and increase gift frequency and average gift amounts.
The Basics: What is a Pledge Card?
In its simplest form, a pledge card is a promise from a donor to donate a specified amount over a set period of time. While donations are an immediate gift to an organization, a pledge is simply a promise.
At first glance, a pledge card only requires the most basic information from a donor – name, address, phone number, and pledge amount. But what often gets overlooked is the ability to hyper-personalize the ask amount for each donor.
While many nonprofits choose to populate their pledge cards with generic ask amounts, a pledge card is an optimal tool to send donors personalized ask amounts based on their giving history with your organization. If it’s a newer supporter or one who hasn’t given yet, you can tailor the pledge card based on their wealth data in order to provide them with a personalized ask.
How to Design a Responsive Pledge Card
It’s easy to over-engineer a pledge card but oftentimes, those that are simplest often perform the best with supporters. When crafting your pledge card, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind:
- Make sure your organization’s logo is clearly visible – we want donors to immediately recognize that it’s from you and not another source!
- Include your organization’s contact information in case a donor has questions about the pledge card and where funds may be directed.
- A space for donor contact information like their phone number, address, and e-mail
- Gift array – aka an array of gift amounts they’d like to donate. Make sure to include ‘other’ in case they’d like to pledge more than what is presented on the card.
- A brief summary of what this appeal will fund.
- Payment details so donors can not only pledge their gift but also immediately fulfill it.
- Offer the option to complete their donation online as opposed to mailing a check. Include a QR code to make it easy for donors to quickly access the donation page and reduce possible chances of abandoning the gift.
- Include a small code for internal tracking purposes so your team can log it immediately in Virtuous and better measure how the campaign is performing.
How to Personalize Pledge Cards
Did you know that research shows that presenting donors with a pre-determined ask amount, as opposed to an open-ended pledge card, can increase giving? But how can your organization know which exact amounts to present to donors on their pledge cards?
By leveraging the AskGenius – Virtuous integration the question of ‘how much to ask’ is quickly and easily solved! With the latest integration between our products, fundraisers can now leverage AskGenius’ algorithms to determine the most accurate and appropriate ask amounts for your donors based on historical and demographic data.
Rooted in Virtuous’ responsive fundraising, the integration enables organizations to lean in, listen to their donor’s behavior, and provide them with a personalized ask array that’s tailored to help increase average gift amounts.
Even better, your team doesn’t have to spend countless hours pouring over brain-melting CSV files to ensure that donor data is accurate and clean. The AskGenius integration creates a clean and print-ready CSV file that’s formatted correctly – and with the appropriate data – so you can immediately send it to your preferred direct mailing house.
Why Should Nonprofits Opt for Pledge Fundraising?
In a fundraising world that largely takes place online, you may be wondering why fundraisers should ask for pledges as opposed to traditional donations. It’s a reasonable concern but pledge fundraising can benefit nonprofits in several ways.
Encourage Monthly Giving
Pledges are a great way to focus on a donor’s excitement and encourage them to pledge more significant amounts than they may be willing to give in different situations. However, when you call in to collect those pledges, there could be a bit of buyer’s remorse (something we certainly want to avoid!).
When calling to collect on their pledge, offering for them to donate on a recurring basis – monthly, semi-annually, weekly – helps break down that large pledge into a more reasonable financial responsibility.
Pledge campaigns are an excellent way to collect basic information on potential donors for your organization. Donors who have completed and mailed back a pledge card have shown interest in your mission and may have already dedicated a specific dollar amount. Your organization can utilize this information as a starting point to begin researching these donors to learn more about their background and nurture the relationship.
One way to help with prospect research is enlisting a volunteer or staff member to perform prospect research for each pledge. Once you’ve collected enough information, have a board member or director call the donor to ask for a specific donation and discuss other additional ways they can help support your organization – whether that’s their time, resources, or energy.
Remember, pledges are a way to form long-term relationships, not to just collect a one-time gift!
If you have a donor that loves to give but would prefer to do so quietly, pledge campaigns are an excellent way for donors to give but remain anonymous. Your organization can work directly with the donor on how they can give and become more involved in the future.
Free Donation Pledge Form Template
If you’re ready to conduct a pledge campaign, or interested in refreshing your current pledge strategy, we’ve included a free pledge form template to help!