At Lautman, we firmly believe that monthly donor programs should provide a significant source of revenue for nonprofits — so wherever possible, we make it a priority to help our clients build, grow, and improve their sustainer programs. Over the years, we have helped organizations build sustainer programs from scratch or dramatically improve upon what existed. While helping ensure all the back-end details are in place before starting can be cumbersome — the payoff is always great, and we love celebrating milestones alongside our clients as the revenue builds year after year.
The fun really begins, however, when we are involved in fine-tuning and growing already established programs. We are strategists at heart, who are never satisfied with the status quo, and with so much to gain from a strong monthly giving program, we will challenge you (and help you!) to take the program to new heights.
Sustainers are an organization’s most committed supporters, and we are careful to incorporate cultivation, report backs, and engagement feedback loops to reaffirm how important their donations are to the work. This type of stewardship can, and should, take many forms — from conference calls with key staff, to invitations to events, detailed reports from the field, photo books, and even handmade keepsakes from beneficiaries. We balance the expense and level of detail for each organization, and often by the sustainer tenure, as well.
At the same time, we don’t want to let monthly donors stagnate, so upgrades are always a part of the annual plan — and we typically recommend multiple channels (mail, email, SMS, digital advertising and telemarketing). These are carefully implemented from a data perspective, so that we limit the downgrade or cancellation risk.
Of course, regular maintenance communications must be set up and automated to ensure that as many sustainers are recaptured, as efficiently as possible. For these efforts, we find automated emails and regular telemarketing efforts work best to recapture sustainers — and we often oversee the telemarketing campaigns as part of our direct response work for clients.
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