Donating is a big part of our DNA here at Alyce. With a core value like, “Give First, Give Consistently,” figuring out how to give back to our customers and their surrounding communities is always top of mind for us. Since there are only so many of us at Alyce able to mobilize our philanthropic endeavors, I love working with our customers to build a remarkable a Donation Campaign experience for their prospects with Alyce.
As a Customer Success Manager at Alyce, setting up Donation Campaigns with my customers is like building an extra charitable division to our company. By empowering our customers to give a gift in the form of a donation, we extend the same generosity from our core values to and through our customers. With all of the donation campaigns our customers have sent through Alyce, we’ve noticed a few trends to improve the performance of your donation campaigns. Eight to be exact. They’re listed below by things to do and things not to do.
Eight ways to get the best results from an Alyce Donation Campaign
1. Avoid using Donation Gifts for Cold Prospecting
During the early stages of a sale, BDRs are still building rapport and earning trust with their target accounts. Without trust built into the relationship, sending a donation can lead to confusion and undermine the authenticity of the gesture.
Since the goal of a donation gif is to do something nice with zero expectations to get anything in return, a donation gift should be offered with no agenda or strings attached. Cold prospects, without context or an understanding of your intentions, often question a donation gift. “Why would someone I don’t know send me a donation to the charity of my choosing?” “What’s in it for them?”
2. Understand the state of the account.
Just as it is important to be cognizant of who to send a donation gift to, it’s also extremely important to consider when you’re sending a donation gift. While donation gifts are a great way to build a tighter relationship with your customers and champions, it’s not a good idea to use a donation gift to attempt to resolve a problem. Likewise, it’s not a good idea to use a donation gift as an apology if your customer has had a bad experience.
3. Champions are the best contacts to send a Donation Gift
Because trust is already established in the relationship, the champions at your account are the perfect contacts to delight with a donation gift. Many sales reps underestimate how important it is to thank your champions for their role in helping you during the sales or expansion process. Instead of sending a champion some swag ( which most folks toss in the trash anyway ), send them something they can make an impact with. If you learn your champion spends their #5to9 hiking, send them a donation gift to the National Park Trust. What better way to thank them for their help than to pay it forward to something they care deeply about?
4. Put the Person before the Persona before selecting a charity.
Selecting the perfect charity is much like selecting the perfect gift: it’s not necessarily about the gift itself as much as it is about the intention behind the gift. The best donation gifts are tied to charities that compliment or directly impact your contact’s passions, hobbies and interests in their #5to9. With a marketplace of hundreds of charities and the ability for your donation gift recipient to add a new charity, the options to genuinely impact your contact’s personal life are literally limitless.
Pro-Tip: We often suggest a donation gift budget of around $50. This is an impactful amount and does not make anyone feel undervalued or uncomfortable with an outlandishly low or high donation amount.
5. Make your message all about the gift recipient.
Writing the perfect gift invitation message is an art form. Since this gift is about being selfless, put the gift recipient at the center of your message. Limit the number of times you mention your company and yourself such as “I” or “we.” Use the word “you” as often as you can. Consider why you are offering this donation to your recipients and curate your message to convey that sentiment. Authenticity is key; speak from the heart and share a genuine appreciation for the person behind the persona.
To help, here is a sample template of an effective donation gift message:
Sending a little something your way in the hopes of sending a bit of positivity to your day! We’re so happy to be working with you, and wanted to show our gratitude by providing the opportunity to give back to a cause close to your heart. Because of your love for XXX, please accept this $50 gift to donate to [ Name of Charity ].
If there is an alternative cause or charity on which this gift could also make an impact, please don’t hesitate to select a new charity in the donation marketplace.
Thanks for everything you do!
6. Do not ask for something in return for your generosity.
The purpose of a charitable contribution is to do something selfless and helpful for the donation gift recipient. When people or companies give and expect something in return, it erodes the integrity, trust, and ultimately loyalty between a prospect or customer and that company.
Since the goal of creating a Personal Experience is to build loyalty, do not use donation gifts to get something in return. Asking for a meeting in return exposes a hidden agenda and delegitimizes the intent of your gift – which ultimately is to do something selfless and kind for someone who deserves something special.
7. Don’t forget to follow up after a donation gift is sent.
How you follow up with a donation gift is just as important as the follow up you do on a regular gift. Donating is also about feeling good about helping others – following up with your recipients with a holistic overview of the donations made to specific charities will tie the whole experience together. How awesome would you feel getting an email saying “Thanks to your participation, we were able to donate $1,000 to Habitat for Humanity!”. Let them know this was not a marketing campaign or a sales outreach tactic, rather a genuine way for humans to help other humans.
8. Do not automate a donation campaign or gift.
This. Is. A. Hard. NO! A donation campaign is about creating an exceptional experience for your intended recipient. “Setting and forgetting” this gift removes the authenticity and sincerity behind sending a donation gift. By making a point to manually send a donation gift to your champion or customer, you’re going that extra mile to invest in this relationship. That personal touch is what sets this gift apart from the rest and helps you build bonds with the people you do business with.
The Lasting Impact of a Donation Gift
Gift-giving should always be about the gift recipient.
Sending a charitable contribution as a gift to an important stakeholder or champion at your company leaves a lasting impact. A donation gift demonstrates a long-term investment in this relationship and removes the transactional nature that most business relationships have these days. This long-term investment is the key to strengthening and deepening relationships which ultimately yields loyal and dedicated customers.