6 Best Practices for Your Pledge Reminder Strategy (2022 Update) (2023)

For organizations that accept pledges (large or small) to be paid in installments over time, pledge reminders provide a key opportunity to keep those donors who’ve made pledges continuously engaged. Reminder communication proactively acknowledges your donors’ commitment and similarly furnishes an opportunity for you to continue showing your appreciation. Nurturing these relationships with solid communication and stewardship practices will help engender stronger donor support overall, allowing your nonprofit to reach new levels of mission impact.

More tactically, pledge reminders also encourage these donors to make the payments due to you in a timely fashion. This not only fosters cash flow but quite literally provides the funding you need to deliver the programs such donors have indicated a desire to support.

With these simple practices, you can be more reliant on revenue from pledges to help your organization achieve its goals and objectives.

1. Keep it short and sweet

Pledge reminder letters (whether printed and mailed, or sent by email) should be short and personal. Use the donor’s preferred informal salutation and incorporate a relaxed, comfortable tone. Be sure to keep the messaging clear by including information on germane organizational or campaign objectives, the amount and deadline of the current installment’s payment, and how funds raised have been used thus far, as appropriate.

It’s ideal to weave a relevant story, the campaign case statement, or your mission statement into each reminder. Your message should also emphasize that you’re collecting on the existing pledge commitment, rather than soliciting a new donation.

2. Make it easy

Provide multiple ways for your donors to pay with easy donation options. In each reminder, include instructions on how the donor can make a payment online, by phone, or by mail (and be sure to include a business or courtesy reply envelope.)

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Online forms should be simple, flexible, and intuitive. Data integration tools should be deployed to automate sending online payment and related donor information to your main CRM database. This will support data quality and consistency by eliminating manual data entry errors and ensuring that your donor records are always up-to-date.

6 Best Practices for Your Pledge Reminder Strategy (2022 Update) (1)

3. Incentivize your pledgers

Motivate your pledge-donors to complete their payment commitments by providing them information about matching gifts or challenge gifts. If the donor’s employer has a matching gifts program, provide the donor with the necessary resources to take advantage of that program. If a major donor has made an annual or campaign challenge against which pledge payments are eligible, ensure that your donors know their pledge payments will be matched internally. Even the most altruistic people are more likely to make charitable gifts when they know the payments they make can be leveraged for additional financial support.

4. Track everything

Pledge acquisition and payment retention rely on communication and persistence. Send pledge reminder letters at least 30 days before the installment’s due date, and then immediately after the due date if payment has not been made. It’s not unreasonable to follow up with reminders at the 30-, 60-, and 90-day mark if a donor’s installment payment has been missed. And, if payment is not received, check your CRM system for duplicates to ensure that an online installment payment from a donor was not incorrectly recorded as a new gift from a new donor.

If advisable, be sure to remind the donor towards which campaign the requested pledge payment is being applied. This is critical for donors who have multiple open pledges; say, one to the annual campaign and another to an endowment or capital campaign.

To optimize success, consider automating alternative communication techniques and frequency using different contact methods (e.g., email, phone call, instant/text messaging, standard mail), depending, of course, on your donors’ desired communication preferences. If automated outreach isn’t effective, consider a personalized approach and leverage various data points in your main CRM system such as the donor’s volunteer history, lifetime giving, event attendance, and other forms of past donor engagement.

5. Be understanding

If a donor doesn’t respond to a pledge reminder by the due date, make sure that follow-up reminders (eg, 30-, 60-, and 90-day reminders) are friendly, grateful, and supportive. When a donor can’t pay the installment, you may want to offer to suspend the pledge schedule and reminders for some agreed-upon timeframe or modify the payment terms of the pledge (working in conjunction with your finance team).

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If the donor wishes to remain supportive but cannot do so financially at the current time, suggest other methods of engagement like sharing the organization’s posts on social media, volunteering, or promoting an event.

6 Best Practices for Your Pledge Reminder Strategy (2022 Update) (2)

6. Thanks, and then some

Always, always, always say thank you. When you first accept a pledge (large or small) to an annual or special campaign or initiative, be sure to furnish the donor with an acknowledgment of their pledge commitment – no different from the acknowledgment you’d furnish to a donor who gives cash. (In fact, typically, from an accounting standpoint, both pledges and cash gifts count as current donation revenue.)

In addition to any auto-generated email receipt sent upon payment of a pledge installment online, a personal acknowledgment letter should be sent within 48 hours of when a pledge payment has been received. Personal acknowledgments should be sent again when the pledge is paid in full, as well as at the end of each year calendar year along with a payment log that can be used for tax purposes.

Saying thank you continues to be a great way to make the donor feel appreciated and helps strengthen their personal connection with your cause. But remember that ongoing donor stewardship does not stop with a thank you letter. All donors – including pledgers – need to be ensured that their gifts are being used as they intended, and need to be appropriately recognized for their generosity. Donors who pledge and make payments over several years, especially, have demonstrated long-term generosity that should be acknowledged commensurately.

Embrace the pledgers

Nobody ever said that pledge fundraising wasn’t hard work. Compared with conventional cash gifts, there are more donor management and operational processes associated with recording pledges, managing payment schedules, and the various reminder letters that need to be sent to these donors – to ensure they make good on their commitments, and so you have the funding on which you’ve been relying.

And because pledge-donor management and related data processing can be painstaking, all the more reason to ensure that your various donor engagement and payment systems are properly integrated – so you can be sure you always have the most current and complete information on your pledge-donors and their payments. For example, you don’t want to send a reminder letter to someone who’s just made their payment. With organizations using more donor engagement systems today than ever before – including phonathon and peer-to-peer fundraising platforms that collect and record pledges – data integration is more important than ever.

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Pledges (and their payments) work really well for a large population of donors, those who are committed to your organization and who feel more comfortable with a level of control that aligns well with their own financial circumstances.

So, embrace it. These are likely donors who will be long-term supporters of your organization, and who will likely increase their level of support over time, especially if you provide them with the level of service they’ve come to expect. And isn’t it always better to get pledges (and payments) from those for whom pledges are the right giving vehicle, rather than exclude them from meeting their philanthropic objectives, just because monitoring and stewarding pledges is a little more complicated? We certainly think so.

To learn more about how Omatic Software can help your organization, or to request a product demonstration, please complete and submit the form below:

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6 Best Practices for Your Pledge Reminder Strategy (2022 Update) (3)

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Stu Manewith, CFRE

Stu Manewith, CFRE joined Omatic Software six years ago and serves as the company’s Director of Thought Leadership and Advocacy. In that role, he is Omatic’s nonprofit sector domain specialist and subject-matter expert and is responsible for actively promoting and demonstrating Omatic’s position as the nonprofit industry’s leading partner in the areas of data health and integration. Prior to Omatic, Stu spent 13 years at Blackbaud, working with Raiser’s Edge, Financial Edge, and Blackbaud CRM client organizations as a consultant, solution architect, and practice manager. Previously, Stu spent the first half of his career as a nonprofit executive, fundraiser, and finance director, working in both the healthcare and arts/cultural arenas of the nonprofit sector. He holds business degrees from Washington University and the University of Wisconsin, and he earned his CFRE credential in 1999.

FAQs

How do you ask someone to pay their pledges? ›

How do I ask for pledges? phone, send an email or write a letter. Chances are they want to support you and COTS. Use Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

How do I write a reminder note for contributions? ›

1 Remind the reader of the cause that you are supporting. 2 Thank those who have already contributed to your cause, including those who may have sent donations that crossed with your reminder letter in the mail. 3 Mention again the amount (or range of amounts) you are requesting and the date by which you need the gift.

What is the difference between a pledge and a donation? ›

Both a pledge and a donation result in donors giving money or goods to a nonprofit. But the big difference between a donation and a pledge is the timing. A donation describes the immediate exchange of money or goods from a donor. A pledge is the promised exchange of money or goods from a donor.

What do most organizations do when individuals do not fulfill a pledge? ›

Donors who decline to fulfill a pledge and clearly have adequate resources may force directors to act to fulfill their fiduciary duty. Pledges are considered assets of the non-profit. Failure to protect those assets could result in personal liability for the director or trustee.

How much money do you give to pledge? ›

Most of the signatories of the pledge are billionaires, and as of 2016, their pledges are estimated to total US$600 billion.
...
The Giving Pledge.
Formation2010
TypeCharitable organization
Membership236
FoundersBill Gates Warren Buffett
Websitegivingpledge.org
1 more row

How do you encourage people to donate? ›

Here are some tips we've culled from academic research and the experience of our giving experts at National Philanthropic Trust:
  1. Express gratitude every step of the way. ...
  2. Use a variety of channels to reach different people. ...
  3. Tell a story. ...
  4. Appeal to the donor's personal values. ...
  5. Ask again. ...
  6. Make it easy.
Jan 23, 2020

How do you write a reminder example? ›

Here is a list of best practices you should be following when writing a reminder.
  1. Choose a clear subject line. ...
  2. Be friendly, yet direct. ...
  3. Be brief. ...
  4. Include a CTA. ...
  5. Find the right sending time. ...
  6. Follow up more than once if needed. ...
  7. Use it as a marketing opportunity.

How do you write a reminder message sample? ›

Hello [Name], Just sending a friendly reminder regarding our upcoming meeting on [date and time]. I've made sure to include a copy of all details about the meeting below. Looking forward to talking soon!

How do you write a kind reminder example? ›

Gentle reminder on the below request

I'm just writing to gently remind you that we have a request for information from you that is overdue. We requested the information about [topic] on [date], and we have yet to receive it. We would appreciate it if you could provide the requested information as soon as possible.

Can a donation pledge be broken? ›

In California, like most other states, charitable pledges are analyzed as a matter of contract law. This means that pledges are not enforceable unless: (1) the pledgor receives consideration for making the pledge; or (2) the charity has detrimentally relied on the pledge.

What are the 2 kinds of pledge? ›

What are the kinds of pledge? Pledge may be either: 1. Voluntary or conventional (created by agreement of the parties); 2. Legal (by operation of law).

Is a donation pledge tax deductible? ›

Promised donations do not equate to tax-deductible donations. That pledge you made doesn't become deductible until you actually give the money.

How long do you stay a pledge? ›

Over the course of six weeks or more, pledges study all facets of fraternity life and the Greek system. You'll also spend time bonding with your new brothers. While you may be tempted to immerse yourself in a plethora of fraternity activities, it's important not to neglect your college studies and outside interests.

How many people are usually in a pledge class? ›

The average fraternity pledge class size is 19.

Is being a pledge hard? ›

Overall, pledging a fraternity comes with both good and bad, and it isn't for everyone. Being a pledge requires time management skills and resilience. Pledges have to navigate their first semester of college classes, countless hours of fraternity activities and manage to get some sleep along the way.

How do I ask for donations without being pushy? ›

Instead, choose words like partner, give, and support. "Donate" gives the impression that you only want (or need) their money. Words like "support" and "partner," followed by the name of your cause or campaign, can increase your donations significantly because they invite people into a relationship.

What is a good donation message? ›

I'm writing to ask you to support me and my [cause/project/etc.]. Just a small donation of [amount] can help me [accomplish task/reach a goal/etc.] Your donation will go toward [describe exactly what the contribution will be used for]. [When possible, add a personal connection to tie the donor to the cause.

What motivates people to give? ›

Let's explore those motivations:
  • Doing good makes sense. People give because of their sense of belonging to a social community.
  • Doing good is God's will. ...
  • Doing good is fun. ...
  • Doing good feels right. ...
  • Doing good is good business. ...
  • Doing good in return. ...
  • Doing good is a family tradition.
Jul 8, 2014

What are reminder phrases? ›

10 expressions to Use In Speaking And Writing:
  • Don't forget to do it.
  • Remember to do it.
  • You will remember to do it.
  • You won't forget to do it, will you?
  • Can / Could I remind you to...?
  • I'd like to remind you about...
  • You haven't forgotten about __, have you?
  • I hope you haven't forgotten to...

What is the rule of reminder? ›

The remainder is always less than the divisor. If the remainder is greater than the divisor, it means that the division is incomplete. It can be greater than or lesser than the quotient. For example; when 41 is divided by 7, the quotient is 5 and the remainder is 6.

How do you write a follow up reminder? ›

I know you have lots of things going on, but I just wanted to remind you that [whatever you are reminding of] is due/needed by [date]. Thank you again for taking time to complete [request]. Please let me know if you have any questions or need additional information. Thank you again!

How legally binding is a pledge? ›

In California, a “pledge” is enforceable as a binding contract only if there is consideration. In certain other states, the rules are less strict: Even a promise to make a payment to a charitable organization without anything given in return may be enforceable as a matter of public policy.

Who gets the money from the Giving Pledge? ›

Through joining the Giving Pledge, signatories commit to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Many signatories have and will exceed that benchmark. Some make a series of very large gifts over a short period, while others establish a program of smaller, regular gifts distributed over many years.

How do you legally enforce a pledge? ›

The pledge remains effective for as long as the creditor retains possession of the property. Thus to enforce the pledge, the requirement is that the creditor must still be in possession of the property- this is different to delivery which is a requirement to constitute a pledge.

What are the three pledges? ›

That's why we teach our students the Pledge of Allegiance, the Pledge to the Christian Flag, and the Pledge to the Bible.

What is an example of pledge? ›

the Pledge of Allegiance

He called to pledge money to the charity. We've all pledged (our) loyalty/support/allegiance to the organization. Every morning, we pledge allegiance to the flag. During his campaign, he pledged that he would not raise taxes.

What are the essential elements of pledge? ›

Essential conditions of a valid pledge

The goods have to be delivered by the pawnor to the pawnee. Delivery is necessary for a complete pledge and it may be either actual or constructive[3]. Actual Delivery: An actual delivery occurs when the physical possession of the goods is transferred by the pawnor to the pawnee.

What donations are not 100% deductible? ›

Any donation of over Rs.2000 made by way of cash will not be eligible for deduction under Section 80G from 1st April, 2017. Hence, make all donations over Rs.2000 by way of cheque, demand draft, bank transfer, credit card or debit card.

Are all donations 100% tax deductible? ›

Individuals may deduct qualified contributions of up to 100 percent of their adjusted gross income. A corporation may deduct qualified contributions of up to 25 percent of its taxable income. Contributions that exceed that amount can carry over to the next tax year.

What donations are 100% deductible? ›

List of Donations eligible for 100% deduction without qualifying limit
  • National Defence Fund set up by the Central Government.
  • Prime Minister's National Relief Fund.
  • National Foundation for Communal Harmony.
  • An approved university/educational institution of National eminence.
Feb 6, 2023

How do you ask for payment professionally in a message? ›

Hello [Client's Name], I hope this email finds you well. I understand this may be a busy time for you, but I wanted to send out a friendly reminder that the payment for invoice #111119 will be due next Wednesday, October 6th. Please feel free to reach out with any questions about this invoice.

How do you politely ask someone to pay an invoice? ›

Please find a copy of your invoice {Invoice number} due {due date} attached for the amount of {amount due}. Please remit payment at your earliest convenience prior to the due date.

How do you follow up on a pledge? ›

Quick Confirmation: After a pledge is made, communicate directly with your donors — this can be a thank you email, letter, or text confirming the pledge and due date. In fact, experts say that pledges not followed up with within 72 hours are significantly less likely to turn into donations.

How long is the pledging process? ›

Pledging is an intensive orientation and probationary period for students pursuing fraternity membership. Over the course of six weeks or more, pledges study all facets of fraternity life and the Greek system. You'll also spend time bonding with your new brothers.

How do you write a simple pledge? ›

I, __________ (your name), promise to do my best to make mature and the right decisions, holding myself accountable to a high standard of integrity, hard work, and commitment to excellence.

What is a pledge reminder? ›

Conversely, pledge reminders are requests pertaining to existing donation commitments and are intended to remind donors that it's time to make another payment towards their current obligation.

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