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Migrating Existing Recurring Donors to Your Bonterra Giving Pages
Migrating Existing Recurring Donors to Your Bonterra Giving Pages
Updated over a week ago

One of the biggest concerns we hear from our new clients is how to get their existing recurring donors set up within Fundraising Pages without losing any donors (or revenue) in the process.

Not to worry - we've created a helpful guide to help with this concern.

Before You Begin

One important thing to remember is that if you import your contact list into Donor Management, you have the ability to indicate if someone has been a recurring donor historically - but the actual recurring donation cannot be migrated over.

In other words, the donation history of those recurring donors can be imported in - but the recurring credit card transaction that was set up in your previous system will not be transferred, and will need to be re-set up.

Because of this, you will need to reach out to each of your recurring donors to ask them to please set up their recurring gifts in your new donation page. At the bottom of this article, you can find a few communication templates we've created that may help facilitate that conversation.

Additionally, as you begin reaching out to recurring donors, we recommend considering what approach may be best for your donor base. One option would be to keep your existing recurring donation platform up and running for a few months - overlapping with your new donation pages - to ensure that you don't miss any recurring donation installments while you help your donors make that transition.

Importing Data for Recurring Donors

When performing a data import that includes your recurring donors and their donation history, you'll want to add a column into your data file titled "Recurring Donors," and make an X in each row of the column that includes a recurring donor's information.

This will create a new group within donor management titled "Recurring Donors," which will include all of your historic recurring donors. You'll then be able to use this group to segment out those recurring donors, and communicate with them about this transition more easily.

Creating an Email Blast Template

We recommend creating a new template for an email blast that includes information for your current recurring donors on your organization's change to a new software platform, and asking them to re-establish their recurring gift on the new site.

In this email blast, you'll want to include a button that links to your new donation page, and some language that explains that they'll be setting up a new recurring gift. You also may want to also include language on how to cancel their existing recurring gift in your former donation platform, if applicable.

Updating Your Fundraising Pages

On your new donation page, you may want to update the default giving frequency to "monthly," or another recurring option; you can also create a specific donation page that's designed strictly for recurring donations.

You'll then want to link this page to the button within the email blast you'll send out to your recurring donors; simply copy the URL of that page and paste or hyperlink that URL into the body of the email blast.

Making Phone Calls to Donors

You may find that calling your recurring donors to personally ask them to switch their donation may be a better option than sending an email blast. Some donors will find that to be a more "personal touch," and they may be more amenable to making that change if someone speaks to them directly about doing so.

If that's the case, you'll want to export a list of your recurring donors and their phone numbers from your prior fundraising platform. You'll then want to divide the list up among your team, paying attention to which board members or staff may have existing relationships with those donors.

Once you've divided up the list of donors, you'll want to make those calls and leave messages for anyone who you can't reach directly. You may want to keep track of whom you've already spoken with - and follow up with those you aren't able to reach a few days later.

Following Up

After you've reached out to your existing recurring donors, you'll want to recognize those who make that change by sending a personalized thank-you message, like a personal video message or a follow-up phone call.

About a week after you make those calls or send those email blasts, you may want to revisit that list of donors and send a video message to anyone who hasn't re-set up their recurring gifts.

You also will want to be mindful of any instance where a recurring donation is skipped because of this transition process, so you can reach out to the donor immediately and see if you can facilitate that change before another payment is missed.

Sample Templates Encouraging Recurring Donors to Update Their Information

Email Template:

Hi (First Name),

Thank you for your ongoing support of (Organization Name) through your automatic credit card deduction. Your commitment to (include your mission/cause/beneficiaries)} is critical – and very much appreciated! I am so grateful for you!

Because of changes to our donation processing platform, we need you to update your recurring donation information here (include link to page here) to ensure that your recurring gift is not interrupted.

I know you care about the impact you have on (include your mission/cause/beneficiaries), so I wanted to let you know that we’re asking you to update your donation information now because we have updated our donation pages and payment processing system to Bonterra.

To protect your credit card information, we cannot transfer your credit card information automatically. Your recurring gift to (Organization Name) of (Amount) (Frequency) has stopped.

I’m asking you, our dedicated donor, to visit our donation page (include link to page here) to re-establish your recurring gift there. I appreciate your support, and I truly appreciate you making the switch to our new payment processor! Please let me know if you have any questions.

BUTTON: Set-up new recurring gift

Thanks in advance,

Name

Title

Phone number

Email Address

P.S. Please update your recurring gift today to ensure your impact on (include your mission/cause/beneficiaries) is not interrupted.

Phone Script:

Hello! May I please speak with (name of recurring donor).

I’m (name of caller), (relation to organization). Is now a good time to chat briefly?

First, I’d like to thank you so much for your generous support of (include your mission/cause/beneficiaries) through your recurring automatic donation. I’m calling today to let you know that we’ve switched to a new donation payment processor, which means your current automatic payments will no longer work. Would you like to continue your impact on (include your mission/cause/beneficiaries)?

  • If yes – Thank you so much! To protect your private credit card information, we need to ask you to go online to set-up a new recurring gift. I’d like to send an email with the link to our new donation page. Would that be okay?

    I’m hoping that you will renew your gift as soon as possible to avoid a disruption in the incredible impact you have on (include your mission/cause/beneficiaries). I’ll send the email by this evening.

    Thank you! Do you have any questions? Thank you again!

  • If no – I’m sorry to hear that. May I ask what might be impacting your decision? I understand. Thank you so much for your previous support.

Phone Message Script:

I’m (name of caller), (relation to organization). Thank you so much for your generous support of (include your mission/cause/beneficiaries) through your recurring automatic donation. I’m calling today to let you know that we’ve switched to a new donation payment processor. And, to protect your private credit card information, we need to ask you to go online to set-up a new recurring gift. I’m hoping that you will renew your gift as soon as possible to avoid a disruption in the incredible impact you have on {mission/cause}. If you have any questions, please reach out to (contact person responsible for data management).

Video Message Script:

Hello, I’m (Executive Director Name), Executive Director at (Organization Name). I’m reaching out today to first, thank you for your generous support of (include your mission/cause/beneficiaries) through your recurring donations.

As I hope you’ve heard, we’ve recently transferred our donation processing platform to Bonterra. To protect your private credit card information, and to ensure that your generous donations will not be interrupted, I’m contacting you to ask if you would please visit our website donation page to re-establish your recurring gift through our new platform.

Please know that I wouldn’t ask you to take this step if I could safely transfer your information, but unfortunately, that isn't an option.

Your ongoing support is very important to us, and I hope that you’ll take a moment to set-up a new gift at your earliest convenience. If you have ANY questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at (xxx-xxx-xxxx). Thank you again for your generous support.

Phone Script (if any monthly payment has been missed):

Hello! May I please speak with (name of recurring donor)?

I’m (Name of caller), (relation to organization). Is now a good time to chat briefly? First, I’d like to thank you so much for your generous support of (include your mission/cause/beneficiaries) through your recurring automatic donation.

I’m calling today to let you know that we did not receive your regular monthly donation this week and I’m hoping this was an oversight. Have you received our communications regarding the transfer of our donation payments to a new platform?

Respond accordingly…then add:

Would you like to continue your impact on (include your mission/cause/beneficiaries)? Will you be able to set up a recurring donation on our new platform?

  • If yes – You’re having an immeasurable impact on (include your mission/cause/beneficiaries)! Thank you so much for your ongoing support!

  • If no – I’m sorry to hear that. May I ask what might be impacting your decision? I understand. Thank you so much for your previous support.

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