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  • Writer's pictureKevin Leahy

Simplifying the Multi-Year Giving Process Is Worth Your Time

Donor retention is at an all-time low. Nonprofits can expect to lose an average of about 60% of every donor acquired the previous year. What's stopping nonprofits from signing donors up for multi-year gifts to solve retention and grow revenue?

Simplifying the Multi-Year Giving Process is Worth Your Time
Simplifying the Multi-Year Giving Process is Worth Your Time

Why Aren’t There More Multi-Year Donors?

According to the hundreds of nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities, and healthcare facilities that we’ve talked to, a lot gets in the way of multi-year giving strategies for donors of all sizes:

  • There’s the “process” - multi-year commitments require pledge reminders, follow-ups, and some level of staffing continuity.

  • There’s the time and resources that go into formalizing and structuring gift agreements, exchanging signatures, reviewing agreements, and executing terms.

  • There’s also the standardization of agreements. Traditionally, it’s difficult to standardize multi-year commitment agreements when they have been edited and changed over the years for various purposes. How can we expect gift processing to be accurate and efficient if agreements aren’t standardized across the organization?

  • And there’s also the fact that the majority of frontline fundraisers are only seeking a single gift for a specific campaign “for now”.

For these reasons, multi-year giving via gift commitments and pledges is reserved for less than the top 2% of donors, and most fundraising leaders have never considered this an area for improvement.

However, that opinion is likely to change when you understand that leaders who have automated and scaled their pledge process to gifts of all sizes have seen a 4.5x improvement in multi-year commitments by using Digital Gift Agreements for just a single month.

Digital Gift Agreements Simplify Multi-Year Giving

Once multi-year giving becomes a simple process, retention, bookable revenue, and pipeline all align themselves on an upward trajectory. Digital Gift Agreements empower frontline fundraisers to create, send, and track multi-year pledges and commitments to donors as they sit across the table from the donor, speak on a phone or video call to the donor, engage with a donor at an event, and hundreds of other scenarios.

As leaders simplify and scale the Multi-Year Giving process across their organizations, they’re seeing a ripple effect that goes epochs beyond replacing a paper or outdated pledge process. Leaders are quick to realize that when Digital Gift Agreements empower fundraisers to solicit multi-year pledges at scale, fundraisers can suddenly expand their work in amazing ways:

Breaking the Solicitation & Resolicitation Cycle

Frontline fundraisers know their donors, and they may know that some donors give like clockwork on a certain date and a certain time. However, nothing is really “certain” until that gift comes in the door. This causes frontline fundraisers to constantly check in with even their most dependable donors to ensure a gift will be made. Imagine letting Digital Gift Agreements take on that responsibility, empowering your fundraisers to establish touchpoints that are actually stewardship – not a thinly veiled solicitation.

Developing Pipeline and Reaching More Donors

When a frontline fundraiser has donors in her portfolio who are in active commitments, she can spend more of her time focused on developing relationships that lead to major gift opportunities, and securing gifts from the prospects who have yet to give.

Follow-Up and Follow-Through Happens In Real Time

Donors are most likely to follow through on a gift commitment when it’s formalized quickly. When fundraisers travel, attend events, and make rounds of calls or donor visits, they often come away from these meetings with a mountain of CRM and spreadsheet updates, meaning it could take hours or even days before following up with donors to close gifts. However, Digital Gift Agreements are designed so frontline fundraisers can create, send, and track multi-year gift commitments, as they engage with a donor in real time.

Multi-Year Giving Strategies Are Expanding Fundraising

Givzey was working with a mid-sized higher education institution for about a month when Advancement leadership saw the impact of Digital Gift Agreements on multi-year giving opportunities. The University was in the process of closing the books on the 2023 fiscal year when they began using Givzey.

During the last month of the fiscal year, three fundraisers from one of the University’s divisions secured 42 gifts via Digital Gift Agreements, totaling $91,000. Of this $91,000, 15% of agreements were multi-year commitments, which accounted for an amazing 80% of revenue during this outreach. Understanding how much more valuable multi-year gift agreements are versus one-time gifts, institutional leadership plans to expand fundraising with a multi-year strategy in the following areas:

  • Fiscal Year-End

  • Multi-Year Board Commitments

  • Reunion Class Giving

  • Athletics

  • Leadership Giving

  • Young Alumni Giving Societies

Simplifying your multi-year giving process does more than improve fundraising, it expands the donors you are able to reach, the revenue you can book, and solves retention. To learn more, talk with Givzey today.


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