On 2 January, I wrote about my experience cancelling a regular gift with a variety of Australian charities.
My experiences cancelling my recurring donations mixed. Given the timeframe was in the middle of the holiday season, I indicated some charities were closed for the holiday break. Today’s blog post is an update on the remaining charities who had not responded.
A mixed bag
I cancelled six of my recurring donations in total. Three of the six organisations responded to me during the holiday break. Of the three who had not responded to me due to the holiday closure, the following occurred:
- One organisation responded by telling me they had actioned my request. Their email read: Per your request, we have cancelled your recurring donation. Thank you for your support.
- This same organisation has not communicated with me over the course of the past three years I was a regular donor.
- Another organisation asked, via email, if there was any way for them to retain me as a supporter, including offering to lower my monthly donation amount or to put the donation on hold.
- The final responding organisation contacted me by phone. This organisation, likewise, stressed the value of my regular donation and sought to retain me by lowering the donation amount or placing the donation on hold for “up to six months”.
Coverage over holiday timeframe
It should be said that very few non-profit organisations have coverage over the holiday break from about 20 Dec to 6 January. Most organisations shut down during this timeframe and require staff to take paid time off. This is the polar opposite of places like the United States where there may be skeleton staff on during this timeframe, but someone is always available to take donor calls, answer email, and to process donations. In fact, in the US, 31 December is tax time. This adds even more importance to having staff available for these purposes and to accept gifts of securities, major gifts, and other valuable donations.
What is your process for handling recurring gift cancellations? Did your organisation have coverage over the holiday timeframe (even limited)?