Top 5 Ways To Achieve the Highest Redemption Rate In Your Fundraising Efforts

Strong Follow-up can help ensure a great ending to your capital campaign or annual appeal

Yeah! The campaign is over. You have exceeded your goal and now you can just sit back, watch the money roll in and fund your projects, right? Wrong!

In fact, you are now beginning the most important aspect of any capital campaign-the redemption of pledges.

After the active phase of a capital campaign is over, there is a lull in activity.  Staff and volunteers are ready for a break, as they have typically given much of their time and talent over the previous months during the active phase  of the campaign and helped ensure a successful effort. However, this is not a time to sit back and rest on our laurels.

You will not collect the maximum amount pledged if you do not have a strong follow-up. You need to implement the items below to ensure a successful follow-up phase.

Be Thankful-If you do not thank your donor, you stand the chance of losing their gift. You must fully recognize and appreciate the sacrifice and generosity that they have given to your parish or diocese. The donor must be thanked and cannot be thanked enough. After receiving a pledge, send a personalized thank you letter. You could also choose to publish an alphabetical listing of donors as a public thank you.

Send Pledge Payment Reminders-Life is busy and people have lots of bills to pay. While we don’t like to refer to a pledge as a bill, it is still a payment that the donor will be making to you on a regular basis. People can easily forget to make their pledge payment if they are not sent a reminder. As time goes on and they keep forgetting, you are out the money you had been expecting to use for your projects and the donor may begin to think you don’t really need their gift after all. It is imperative to send payment reminders consistently, within the first few days of each month, and according to the donor’s pledge preference-monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. Typically organizations with effective pledge redemption plans can expect to collect 95% of the amount pledged.  This will only happen with diligent and business like follow up, which requires carefully monitoring payments on pledges.

Form a Follow-Up Committee-This committee should meet monthly to review pledge payments and follow up with those who are delinquent on their pledges. It is important to follow up with delinquents. The longer a donor is delinquent, the higher the likelihood you will lose the gift altogether. You need not use pressure to collect on the pledges, but rather, it is the committees job to reach out to the donor to make sure that all is okay with them first. Perhaps there is an illness, hardship, etc. that the parish/diocese is unaware of. Appropriate steps to help out should be taken if that is the case.

Keep Donors Informed-Update them regularly on how much money has been raised, how it is being spent and on any construction that has taken place or debt payments that were made. You must be transparent and share this information on a consistent basis. The more transparent and forthcoming you are with information regarding your finances and projects, the more trust you will earn from your donor base.

Contact Potential New Donors-As you make progress with your projects, those who were not ready to commit to the campaign before may be more excited to do so when they see the fruits of others labor. In addition, new parishioners may move in to your parish during the redemption phase. Engage these non donors and encourage them to participate. Let them know it is never too late to make a gift and get involved with the project.

As part of the service we provide to our clients, Guidance In Giving, Inc. is available to assist our clients throughout the entire 3-5 year pledge redemption period.