Using Perks to Your Advantage

Today’s crowdfunding platforms provide alternative financing for different types of projects. Business starts-ups often offer equity-based crowdfunding in which contributors gain a share in the company in return for investment, while social enterprises may use rewards-based crowdfunding, offering a prototype product to those who pledge funds. 
It’s largely understood that in donation-based crowdfunding, donors seek no tangible benefit, but in a nod to the culture of crowdfunding HIPGive offers organizations the opportunity to create their own system of perks, rewards, or giving levels to incentivize donors in a variety of ways. 

Types of Perks

1. Tangible Perks  

Some organizations already send gifts to donors in the mail as a thank you for their contribution, matching the size of the gift to the size of the donation. This works well for organizations with merchandising and access to a reliable postal system. However, you don’t need to go out of your way to offer this type of perk if it’s not already part of your fundraising program: research shows that sometimes the offer of a tangible gift actually reduces the likelihood of receiving a donation.

2. Digital Rewards  

These are any type of thank you or donor recognition that can be sent or fulfilled virtually or via email.  Sometimes the reward may have monetary value (such as a gift card), or it may be a unique, “money can’t buy” experience. For example, for a donation of 26 pounds (about $32 USD) to Hearing Dogs for Deaf People in the UK, the charity offered a tour of their training center and for slightly more, you could have your name printed on their new vehicle. 

3. Digital Thank You’s 

HIPGive donors receive an automatic thank you email with space for each organizations' customized text, but many organizations choose to show their appreciation with a personalized thank you. This can take the form of a scanned letter, drawing, card, photo, short video, or any combination of the above, and is especially effective if it is written personally by a beneficiary, board member, or other person of influence.  

4. Giving Levels 

Sometimes called giving tiers, this is the technique of creating several suggested donations of different amounts (for example, $20, $50, or $100) and explaining the impact created. It’s a useful way of helping donors visualize the significance of their gift. Plus, by increasing the emotional content of the campaign, it encourages donors to “upgrade” their donation to a higher amount. 

These types of perks are not mutually exclusive—you can combine them to create your own unique donor recognition menu. Have a look at some of our favorites and identify which type of perks they’ve used and how they can be combined.

How to Implement Your Perk Choices

Perks are an optional feature of HIPGive campaigns and many organizations choose not to feature them. However, if you do choose to include them, here are some useful tips:
  • The best rewards are those that are aligned with the mission and create a deeper connection with your donors.
  • Don’t commit to anything outside your budget or human resources. Donors often appreciate sincere, heartfelt thank-you’s rather than expensive gifts.
  • If you wish to send rewards that are to be posted in the mail, please make sure you activate the check box that requires donors to leave a postal address. The default setting of all campaigns is to retrieve only the donor’s email.
  • Don’t forget to send your perks and thank you’s quickly after your campaign has finished.  This way it contributes to the warm glow of satisfaction that donors feel and will make them more likely to contribute to your campaigns in the future.
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