Q: When implementing the Benevon Model, what is the policy for sending out appeal letters? We have members of our Multiple-Year Giving Society who have made the five-year commitment at the lowest level ($1,000) and they are actually now giving less than in the past. Can we include them in our general direct mailings or do we have to do an individual one-on-one ask?
Sue in Oregon
A: Once a donor joins your Multiple-Year Giving Society, any future asks should be done one on one. You should never send them a direct mail appeal of any sort—even something as simple as including an envelope with your monthly newsletter will feel like an ask.
The first step to approaching a current donor who pledged $1,000 per year for five years but has given more on an annual basis is to follow up with them right after your Ask Event. Thank them for attending, find out what they thought, and be sure to underscore what a big difference their pledge for ongoing support will make for your organization. Be sure they know how special they are to your organization and that you plan to engage and communicate with them differently now that they are in this group.
Ideally, set up their first face-to-face cultivation visit to happen soon after the event. That might be an invitation to a one-on-one meeting with your CEO or to attend a Free Feel-Good Cultivation Event.
From there, continue to cultivate until you feel the timing is right to ask them to increase their pledge to the amount they have previously given, or even to do more than that. Ask one on one and be sure to find out how else they'd like to stay connected and involved.