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  • Writer's pictureKevin Leahy

3 Ways to Redefine Your Pledge Process & Scale Multi-Year Giving

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

Advancement Services and Operations professionals know that when processes don’t scale, they aren’t effective. However, in fundraising, we never give up on an opportunity. That’s why we download lists of unpaid pledges each month and send envelopes hoping donors will fulfill gifts. It’s why we ask frontline fundraisers to secure multi-year pledges with donors and accept any passable form of documentation.


However, as multi-year giving becomes central to improving retention and increasing bookable revenue, the inability to scale the pledge process presents a significant obstacle to future fundraising growth. Problems exist both for frontline fundraisers working to close gifts and operations teams responsible for gift processing and everything that comes next.


How can Advancement Operations work to transform the pledge process in a way that empowers frontline fundraisers to decrease time-to-close and increase revenue with multi-year gifts?


3 Ways to Redefine Your Pledge Process & Scale Multi-Year Giving
3 Ways to Redefine Your Pledge Process & Scale Multi-Year Giving

3 Ways to Redefine Your Pledge Process & Scale Multi-Year Giving


1. Pledge Creation

Consider your current pledge process. But before we can even get there, it usually starts with a minimum gift requirement, because the process involves so much work around committing, booking, and collecting, that pledges are only available to a small subset of select donors for select gifts.


If the minimum gift requirement is met, gift officers will typically use some sort of form to document a pledge. This can be a PDF that donors print and scan back, a physical piece of paper carried in a folder to donor visits, an e-signature digital document, an email may suffice, or the gift officer may have to request a specialized document from the stewardship or gift administrator.


Not only can this process be difficult to track, consider the donor's perspective. They are waiting – days and weeks will pass between the time they say "Yes, I'll give." You may not only lose some of their enthusiasm to cut a sizeable check but also, that revenue still isn't on your books.


Givzey rethinks this traditional approach to pledges by putting pledge creation directly in the hands of the gift officer through our Gift Agreement Platform. During onboarding, we work with your team to set up agreements that include all of the information your specific organization needs to book a gift. Fundraisers simply open Givzey, fill out the required fields, and email or text pledge agreements directly to donors – a process that takes less than a minute on your laptop or mobile device.


Givzey delivers the pledge agreement directly to your donor's inbox, where one click confirms the gift.


This simplicity means that you can remove any minimum gift requirements you may have in place to book a pledge – because your creation and documentation process is now covered.


2. Booking Gifts

In your current pledge process, once an officer finally gets the documentation needed to book a gift, it doesn't mean everything is set. That's because the documentation has to make its way to the gift processing team. Sounds simple, but that can also mean forwarding an email to a specific inbox, printing and scanning a document, or getting a piece of signed paper onto your team's desk.


Most gift processing teams know that documentation comes in all shapes and sizes – which means there are often requirements that need revision and review in order to book the pledge.


With Givzey, once the donor clicks "Confirm" in their inbox, the pledge confirmation is immediately delivered to anyone who needs the documentation – including the gift processor. And, since all necessary fields are mapped out and required during onboarding, missing and vague information is no longer part of the equation.


3. Donor-Centric & Automated Pledge Reminders

The Advancement Operations team has the distinct privilege and duty to remind donors when it's time to pay.


Pledge reminders can be one of the most challenging aspects of the job for those in operations. The reminder process involves pulling reports, executing mail merges, and sending hard-copy direct mail reminders. Not exactly the donor-centric fundraising that we all strive for in our programs.


Givzey generates, queues, and automates the sending of pledge reminders as soon as a donor clicks to confirm their gift. Reminders are sent via email leading up to each due date on the pledge. Though an automated process, you don't lose control. Both the operations team and the fundraiser retain complete visibility and editing capabilities over each reminder.


Each automated pledge reminder includes links to your various existing ways for donors to pay – whether that's a credit card, ACH, DAF, stock, or otherwise.


Multi-year giving is a difficult strategy to roll out to all donors because the current way most pledge processes work doesn't scale. However, Givzey is changing this reality for Colleges & Universities, Healthcare Organizations, Nonprofits, Independent Schools, and more.


Learn more about how Givzey can redefine your pledge process.

Schedule a demo with our team!

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