The compelling power of “membership cards” in fundraising

Unclemaynardttdmk

We want donors to feel they’re a part of the cause. We want to be inclusive. We want them to know we are paying attention to their generosity and appreciate it.

“Membership cards” can help meet these needs. And if Uncle Maynard’s mailbox is an indication, they work.

I once attended an organization’s annual gala. At one point, the president asked everyone to get their membership cards from their wallets and wave them in the air. My heart sank; I had helped produce the membership card mailing. It had done well, but I figured three or four people would actually have cards with them.

The majority of those in the banquet hall held up cards.

Here are a couple of recent examples. Uncle Maynard doesn’t get these just once a year. Each of these organizations sent them four (as near as can tell) times in a year. They work.

Here’s a card from the American Red Cross.

ARCcardOE
The outer envelope.

ARCcardLtr
The letter. The card is on the upper right, perfed so the donor can remove it.

ARCcardBack
The back of the card. This features information the Red Cross wants you to have.

And here’s a similar mailing from the American Cancer Society.

ACScardOE
Outer envelope. Note how similar it is to the Red Cross envelope.

ACScardRD
The reply device. The card perfs off the right end. There is no letter in the package.

ACScardBack
The back of the card. This is information that may be handy for the donor. (I’ve tested a pocket calendar like this one against “useful information like the card above. The calendar wins, hands-down.

You may think these cards are corny. I think they are. But they can be a powerful motivator for donors. It’s worth trying!

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Comments

2 responses to “The compelling power of “membership cards” in fundraising”

  1. Although I appreciate this post, and hope that most donors keep their membership cards, Jeff I do not. I already have too many cards in my wallet that serve a purpose.
    If charities can develop loyalty programs affiliated with their cards, now we’re talking! 🙂

  2. Although I appreciate this post, and hope that most donors keep their membership cards, Jeff I do not. I already have too many cards in my wallet that serve a purpose.
    If charities can develop loyalty programs affiliated with their cards, now we’re talking! 🙂

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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