How to Use Membership Software for Your Charitable Causes
Do you ever wonder what's the best way to ask your members for monetary donations for your causes? Your association management system has all the information you need to effectively target your members! Your membership software makes it easy to develop messages, deliver those messages, track their effectiveness, and make improvements based on responses. Whether your thing is protecting the environment, forwarding the cause of domestic violence victims, or trying to feed a hungry and suffering world, membership software can help you engage and interact with members for a powerful and truly meaningful result. Here are the things you need to keep in mind when using your membership software to ask your members to open their wallets and contribute to your charitable causes.
Learn to Speak Their Language
How do your members talk about things that are important to them? How do they express their passions, anger, fear, or other intense emotions in relation to the causes they hold dear? Speaking their language is essential for connecting on a level that gives them peace of mind for giving to your organization. If they feel that you believe and feel as they do, they will trust you to have their interests at heart when it comes to using the money they give you. Use the phrases, words, and emphasis they would if expressing the same thoughts and feelings. Use your association software to collect and track their communications with your association to see how they use language, and then use the metrics to gauge their reactions to your messaging.
Foresee Their Objections & Formulate Answers
Whenever it's time to ask for money, there are always some common objections, such as:
- How will the money help?
- Who (specifically) will the money help?
- How do I know the money will get where it's supposed to?
- How will I know the money did any good?
- How will I justify this expense to [my boss, my spouse, my parents, etc.]
Again, use your association management system to determine what the most common questions or objections are, and be prepared with answers for all of the common ones.
Ask for a Specific Amount of Money
Members may not have any idea what they're expected to give, so make it easy for them by suggesting a dollar amount. Better yet, suggest a few so they can pick and choose, and still feel like they're within the accepted norm.
When faced with enormous needs—like 32 million people in Uganda living without a supply of clean, fresh water or 22 American soldiers per day returning from overseas duty committing suicide—the average person's donation can seem like a drop in the bucket. How can my $20 help 32 million people? How can my $100 help 22 hurting soldiers per day? You need to be ready with an answer—and be specific. They won't believe their relatively tiny donation could possibly help, so make a recommendation for them, and explain how if X number of people give this amount, a tremendous number of hurting people (animals, endangered environments, etc.) can be helped. Optimally, you will provide three levels of suggestions. That way, there's an option for the bargain hunters, an option for the highly generous, and an option for those who don't want to be seen as either misers or over-spenders.
Be Specific about the Beneficiaries of the Giving
We touched on this briefly, but it's important that people can visualize who will benefit from their donation and how. Use your association software to determine what your members are most passionate about doing, and draft your messages in such a way that people can visualize the money at work. Use both text and images to convey how African elephants will be given safe harbor from poachers, how human trafficking victims will be given medical attention and a start at a new life, or how legislation will be drafted to protect the rainforests. Allow them to literally see their money at work.
About Eric McDonald
As an Engagement Manager with Aptify, Eric helps clients determine whether Aptify is a good fit for their organization as they look for a new AMS. As part of the process, Eric works with clients to consider implementing new systems and new business processes to boost efficiencies and drive greater change throughout the organization. Eric is based out of the New Orleans office, calling the “Big Easy” home since 2010 when he moved there to earn his MBA from Tulane University. Outside of work, Eric loves to CrossFit, spend time with his spouse, cuddle with his Corgi, Bentley, and watch every Saints game—Who Dat!