…A money back guarantee for a donation if the organization doesn’t deliver.
SOFII send out a weekly update and in today’s email I saw a fundraising tactic used by Habitat for Humanity Great Britain in 2006 that I’ve never seen before. It’s pretty daring and it’s very risky unless, of course, you’re the kind of nonprofit that does what it says it’s going to do and doesn’t mind complete transparency with donors.
They offered a Money Back Guarantee on their acquisition mailing.
Habitat’s fundraisers wrote:
“We already know from helping 125,000 extremely poor families build homes that this is the best way to help them out of poverty. But we want you to be sure, too. So when you send your £15 gift we’ll make you a money-back guarantee.
If, after reading more about how we use your gift, you believe it hasn’t done what we’ve said, write to us within six months. We’ll send it back to you – every penny.”
Wow. Money-Where-Their-Mouth-Is Fundraising
It’s brilliant on a number of levels…
First and maybe most importantly, they’ve immediately established beyond a doubt to their prospects (and anyone who sees the appeal) that they are 100 percent confident in their ability to deliver. We are worthy of your trust and we have nothing to hide. Also, we’re really good at this.
Think of the stewardship opportunities. By creating a compact with the donor, Habitat has set up the expectation of an engaged relationship with an informed donor base. We’re going to be sending you materials that you’ll need to read if you want to get your money back.
Think of the upgrade opportunities. You’ve been a donor for six months now…if you think we’re good with £15, look at what we can do for £150!
For those donors who have greater philanthropic potential, this is an opportunity to begin a personal relationship with a discovery call from a fundraiser. Hey, remember that promise we made when you signed up? I’m calling to tell you how we’re holding up our end of the bargain. (How do you find out which ones have greater philanthropic potential? Ask your friendly neighborhood prospect researcher!).
Of course, this percolates a few questions, including:
- Would it change how your nonprofit operates?
- Are you ready for the potential of increased donor engagement?
- Would this change or increase your educational events?
- What kinds of publications would you create if you wanted complete transparency about what you do? Are they different from what you already produce? Would your web and social media presence change?
- Could it cause more work for your finance team?
We’ve just been through the worst financial crisis in our lifetimes (or at least I sincerely hope so) and donors want a sensible return on investment from the charitable dollars they spend. I know I do.
If your favorite charity offered this kind of deal, would you take them up on it?