Five Maples’ Fundraising Blog

Two powerful reasons why I’ll never stop giving to Compassion International and how those reasons could work for your non-profit

sponsor-a-childCompassion International provides monthly support to children to release them from spiritual, economic, social, and physical poverty. Compassion helps more than 1.2 million children in 26 countries.

Thirty years ago my wife and I got a direct mail solicitation that was compelling enough to get us started with our first donation. And since then we’ve never stopped.

But there are many great charities, and over the years our interests, loyalties and even beliefs have changed. So, why stick with Compassion International?

Two reasons: great donor communications and automatic monthly giving.

We are assigned to a specific child. We have a photo of the child and several times a year we get a handwritten letter from the child addressed to us in Spanish, hand translated into English by a local field worker.

Talk about effective, donor-centric communication! We know exactly where our money is going and who it is benefiting. Not only do we feel good about supporting that child, but we’d feel very guilty if we stopped supporting her. You see, we are not supporting Compassion International…rather, Compassion International is enabling us to accomplish something wonderful in a needy child’s life.

Tell donors what their money is doing, not what your organization is doing.

That’s why your donor communications shouldn’t be about how much your organization needs, how much you’ve raised, and what great things your organization is doing.

Your donor communications should be about who is being helped and how. Tell the recipient’s story. Tell the donor’s story.

Keep donors loyal through monthly giving.

Compassion International uses an automatic monthly giving model. Each month, $38 comes out of our bank account. To stop giving we would have to take positive action to stop supporting someone who needs us.

And there’s the beauty of monthly giving. We feel proud that we’ve supported these children so faithfully. Inertia is keeping us from ending our support, and we’d feel guilty if we did take action.


Most non-profits see very low response to the monthly giving option on their response cards.

So, here are three things you can do to improve monthly giving.

  1. Improve the language you use for monthly giving on your response card.
  2. Call selected donors to convince them to switch to monthly giving.
  3. Mail an invitation to selected donors asking them to become monthly, sustaining donors.

In my next blog I’ll show you how to improve your response card language.

Need help getting out your spring fundraising appeal?

Whether you need lists, data-work, printing and mailing, or help with writing, design and editing, we are ready to help you! Call me at 800-437-7780 ext 104, or Email Me Today!

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