By Kyle Henning

Create Your Congregational Launch Plan

To move all donors both occasional and recurring over to Vision2 in the most effective manner possible, it’s important to first develop a strategic launch plan.

Within this plan, define what your outreach will look like, and the timeline in which you will move through the transition phases. This is when you’ll answer questions like,

· When do we want to complete this project by?
· Who will we reach out to first?
· What creative tactics will we employ to switch donors over?

How you segment your outreach will inform who you reach out to in each phase of the transition. One best practice is to organize your supporters by the dates their credit cards expire. Another option is to organize your donors by gift size and adapt your messaging according to the level of their support and the quality of your relationship.

These considerations will help you create an intentional plan with targeted messaging that ensures your donors will have a positive experience. While your primary goal is to move your supporters from one platform to another, your secondary goal is to use this outreach as an opportunity to strengthen your relationships and hopefully increase your donors giving. Consider how this touch point can serve as a piece within a larger narrative, versus a one-off administrative message.

Phase 1: Active Recurring Donors Set to Expire in the Next 30 to 60 Days

To complete this phase, send an email to this group of recurring donors and let them know that their card is about to expire. Ask them to enter their most up-to-date information through Vision2 or update their information on the church website recurring giving donation page.

This message is also an opportunity to upgrade donors’ gift amounts. Thank them for their continued support and ask if they might consider increasing their donation by a certain amount. Be sure to demonstrate what that additional support would mean to your organization in terms of impact.

You can also use this outreach as an opportunity to be transparent and further develop your brand’s voice. If it falls in line with your style, be straight up. Tell your recurring donors why you’re updating your giving platform, what you need from them to help it succeed, and outline the benefits both your supporters and beneficiaries will receive from the change.

Phase 2: Reach Out to Your Recurring Donor (All-Stars)

While their credit cards might not be set to expire anytime soon, the next group you contact can be your “all-stars.” To assess which recurring donors you have stronger relationships with, segment your list by the length of your relationship, donation amount, or by how often they open your current email messages you send.

Offer a Benefit

If you decide to sort your donors by the length of relationship, you could refer to this group as your “founding members,” and let them know that they’re getting the “in” on your new program first. Using an email campaign or phone calls (depending on how high-touch you want to be with this group), thank them for their longtime support and let them know they need to set up a new page to start receiving new program benefits.

Consider what you might provide monthly donors to make them feel even more like they are a part of your team. Exclusive content? Specific impact updates? Branded swag? Position the transfer and relaunch as a way of saying thanks to increase the chance donors will engage.

Phase 3: Reach Out to Donors You Don’t Know as Well

After you’ve reached out to your all-stars, it’s time to reach out to your recurring donors with whom you don’t have quite as much history or as strong of a relationship.

Again, you’ll base the method of your communication (phone or email) on how high-touch you’d like to be—or can afford to be—with this group of supporters.

Introduce your new program and acknowledge the work your supporters helped make possible thus far. As with the previous groups, let them know how your new program is improving, and why that’s ultimately a great thing for both them and your beneficiaries.

One creative way to reach out to this specific group is to let your supporters know you’d like to take the opportunity to learn more about them. Ask them to create a new profile and tell them the information is being used to better serve them as valuable members of your community.

Learn more strategies for engaging with donors – contact us