Stephen Hitchcock is a former President of Mal Warwick Associates.
1. Determine giving levels that challenge your donors to increase their financial support: for example, $1,000, $5,000, $10,000, $50,000, $100,000. 2. Plan to establish at least three giving clubs so donors see the progression in size of gifts – and thus upgrade their contributions: for example, $1000, $5000, and $10,000. 3. Select a name for the giving club(s). Conventional names include Century Club, President’s Society, Founder’s Club, Dean’s Roundtable. Consider, however, names unique to your organization: the name of your founder, a famous member, a historical figure embodying your organization’s mission, or a concept important to your organization. 4. Determine the donor’s benefits at each level: plaques or certificates, parking or library privileges, autographed book, listing of name in program or annual report, access to staff or faculty, invitation to special events. 5. Decide how and where you will recognize and publicize giving club donors: newsletter, plaque, annual report, program, special brochure. 6. Identify board members and key donors who can “seed” each giving club with their contributions. Contact them personally to ask them to serve as charter members. 7. Prepare a brochure for each club or a booklet for all clubs:Describe how the giving club works, stipulating an annual contribution of at least $ _________ for (usually) unrestricted support. State whether gift can be made in several payments – and whether deferred gifts will be counted (some organizations have a giving club just for those who’ve remembered the organization in their wills). Identify and illustrate the benefits of membership. List charter members. 8. For higher-level giving clubs, plan an annual special event such as a luncheon, dinner, or seminar. The president or executive director must be on hand. Consider inviting prominent person or special speaker. These events will encourage renewal of contributions. 9. At least once each year, list donors and giving levels for each club in your newsletter, annual report, or (preferably) special publication.