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10 Things I Learned From 30 Years in Sustainer Giving, Part 2

In a previous article, I shared the first two things I learned during my 30 years of working on sustainer programs. Most of this is not rocket science, but it’s important to keep in mind when you’re looking to grow or retain your sustainers. Here are my next two lessons.

3. Operations Is Your Friend

When I started in sustainer giving, there were no models, no fancy reports and certainly no special sustainer dashboards. Everything had to be programmed. It was especially crucial to work closely with my colleagues in operations and systems. It was particularly important to make sure that you involved them early, often and you got to know their personalities, interests and funny bones.

My first sustainer experience involved monthly donors in six countries, different payment systems, tapes with payment information and more. Those were fun times. One of my favorites was a woman in the systems department. Whenever I came to her with a problem or a request for a report, she’d say, “It can’t be done!” Instead of getting angry, I’d just ask her to think about it. More often than not, 10 minutes later the phone would ring, and she’d say, “I’ve figured it out!” Having a friendly relationship with operations where both parties know that you, as the fundraiser, are not trying to make things difficult or create the next new thing always helps!

4. Curiosity Is a Virtue

I learn from fundraisers like you, who try new things. I’ve joined 40-plus organizations as a monthly donor so that I can see what organizations are doing. What are they sending? How are they addressing me? How are they upgrading me? How often am I receiving something?

I also am an avid direct mail scanner and email collector. I love anything to do with statistics and trends on sustainer giving. And if there’s something I haven’t written about yet, please don’t hesitate to let me know so that I can cover it. The more curious we are together, the more money we raise for the nonprofits we care about, work for and whose missions we support.

Published on October 19, 2022 by NonProfit PRO.

The post 10 Things I Learned From 30 Years in Sustainer Giving, Part 2 appeared first on A Direct Solution.

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