Sunday, May 18, 2008

Green Giving

At Central Dallas Ministries, we just launched a "Green Giving Program" to promote Monthly Bank Drafts as a way to:

  1. Save our donors' time;
  2. Save us money;
  3. Save the environment.
CDM's Green Giving Program

We launched this program after determining that monthly bank drafts were the most efficient method for donors to support us. Not only do donors switch bank accounts less often than credit cards (making it less likely for them not to fulfill their pledge), but this program also requires less overhead since our monthly credit card program includes processing charges.

In fact, the monthly bank draft program is even more cost-effective than donating by check, since that requires significantly more staff time.

Beyond that, we've also portrayed this program as an environmentally conscious effort to reduce waste: it does not require envelopes, stamps or paper (hence the "green" part of the name).

Compare the following:

One-time Check Donation by mail


One-time Credit Donation by mail


Monthly Credit Program


Monthly Bank Draft Program


Donor must fill out check every time they want to give


Donor must use an envelope and stamp


Receptionist has to open the envelope


Accountant has to manually process check


Development Officer has to manually process thank you letter


Organization must pay to print and mail the receipt for each gift


Executive Assistant has to drive to the bank to deposit the check


Donor must fill donation form every time they want to give


Donor must use an envelope and stamp


Receptionist has to open the envelope


Accountant has to manually process credit charge


Organization loses at least 3-5% of donation through processing
charges


Development Officer has to manually process thank you letter


Organization must pay to print and mail the receipt for each gift


Donor only fills out donation form once


No envelope or stamp necessary


No staff involvement other than Development Officer processing all
monthly cards in a single batch (i.e. one click) and exporting data for
accounting software


Organization loses at least 3-5% of donation through processing
charges


Only one thank you letter at the end of the year


Donor only fills out donation form once


No envelope or stamp necessary


No staff involvement other than Development Officer processing all
monthly cards in a single batch (i.e. one click) and exporting data for
accounting software


No loss of funds to processing


Only one thank you letter at the end of the year


Monthly donation programs -- whether through credit card or bank drafts -- are significantly more cost-effective than donating by check or by a single credit transaction. The monthly programs use significantly less paper, stamps, staff time and even fuel (i.e. driving to the bank).

Best of all, this form of "green giving" helps our organization to plan better by providing us with a more clear outline of projected revenues than a system based on praying that envelopes arrive with love offerings.

More about this program here:
http://www.centraldallasministries.org/green/index.htm

I would love to get your feedback, or to hear about how your organization is using recurring giving in its overall program.
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