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Client Story
A pin icon representing locationAlbany, NY Icon representing the classification of this org Human Services

How IPH Built A Sustainable Recurring Giving Program With Neon CRM

Customer Profile

  • Solution Used:

    Neon CRM
  • Customer Since: 2018

  • Outcome: Grew recurring giving revenue by more than 150%

IPH, a leader in providing services to people experiencing homelessness and at-risk individuals and families in New York State, began as a provider of emergency shelter for single adults in 1984.

Today IPH also provides a housing program and a variety of community-centered programs and services that assist over 1,800 individuals and families a year. 

IPH has a small but mighty staff and their development-based funding falls into three buckets: annual giving, major giving, and grants. 

Two major players in their development department are Meghan Meyerson, Director of Donor Experience, and Skylin Baestlein, Development Operations Manager, pictured below with Director of Development, Bonnie St. Onge. Meyerson oversees the day-to-day implementation and overarching strategy of the IPH Annual Fund. Baestlein manages the department’s fundraising and Neon CRM system. Baestlein is responsible for the strategic use of the data as it relates to the team’s goals of prospecting, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding donors – as well as managing a portfolio of grantors.  

Since the birth of their recurring giving program in 2019, IPH has grown their recurring giving revenue by more than 150%. In fact, 20% of their Annual Fund revenue comes directly from recurring giving! Here’s how they did it.

How IPH Grew Their Recurring Giving Program

After a few donors expressed interest in a monthly giving program, IPH added the option to create a recurring gift to their donation form. They quickly realized this could be a new, reliable, sustainable income stream for their organization and an opportunity to build a strong community. In 2019, they put together a plan to grow the program.

Meyerson and Baestlein built their monthly giving program with their community in mind. They established a group of about 20 recurring giving supporters to identify why they gave and to talk through the program’s benefit and impact. That collaboration resulted in a program with branding and messaging that resonated with their community. They named their monthly giving program “The Key Club,” a nod to the IPH tagline “Opening doors every day.” The tagline may have changed since then, but The Key Club is still going strong.

“Figuring out the branding and the messaging that we wanted to share with folks was, pun intended, the key to us figuring out this whole recurring giving program”

–Meghan Meyerson, Director of Donor Experience, IPH

With the program’s name, mission, impact, and benefits clearly established, the IPH team started soliciting their supporters for recurring gifts. That groundwork led to really great conversations with potential supporters. 

The collaborative approach—and an emphasis on creativity —resulted in some interesting discoveries. They saw that their community was open to offering a broad range of monthly support; they were having conversations with individuals that were willing to give $10 each month as well as individuals who were willing to give a $1,000 monthly gift.

The Importance of Strong Donor Relationships

Regardless of how much a donor gave, both Meyerson and Baestlein emphasized building strong and trusting relationships with both their Key Club members and donors in general. 

Whenever possible, they try to connect with their Key Club members on an individual basis. Recently, Meyerson shared an anecdote about a monthly recurring Key Club supporter who recommended that her one-time Leadership Circle commitment be transformed into an on-going annual commitment, mirroring the structure of the Key Club. 

Through open dialogue and active listening, the IPH team has successfully adjusted donor levels and commitments in response to direct donor feedback. This proactive approach by IPH has not only strengthened their relationships with donors, but has also expanded opportunities for support and engagement within the community.

IPH’s Monthly Giving Program Is Still Growing

A record-breaking six new members joined in January 2024, bringing the total Key Club members to 47.

IPH attributes the seven newest Key Club members to an email appeal they put together and sent out with Neon CRM. Here’s how they did it.

First, they looked at their entire donor base and started with three segments: People that donated $25 the previous year; $50 the previous year; and $100 the previous year. 

Then, they made a targeted ask for each segment with messaging that shared how much they’d donated the year before, then asked them to give 10% of that total on a monthly basis. If, for example, someone had given a total of $100 the previous year,  IPH asked them to sign up to make a gift of $10 each month. 

This proved to be very successful—it was an easy way to recognize their donors’ previous support and ask them to upgrade their gift.

Executive Director, Janine Robitaille standing with an IPH Key Club member.
Executive Director, Janine Robitaille standing with an IPH Key Club member.

IPH’s Monthly Giving Program Inspired Creative Fundraising

Meyerson and Baestlein, along with the rest of the development team, have used their monthly giving program’s success to run new campaigns, too. 

In 2021, IPH launched a new annual fundraising event called The Giving Catalog. After The Key Club’s proven success, the team decided in 2022 to add a “Gift of the Month” option to the annual Giving Catalog campaign as a way to introduce people to their monthly giving community.

The “Gift of the Month” option involves a donor purchasing twelve gifts—one a month—for a full year. The recurring gift ends after the twelfth month. This option provides IPH staff with a whole year to build a deep connection with these donors and, with a little bit of stewardship, often results in a recurring Key Club commitment. 

The initiative—including the Gift of the Month option—proved popular with IPH’s community. The Giving Catalog event raised $63,000 in 2022 and just under $95,000 in 2023. Based on that growth, IPH hopes to exceed $100K in 2024.

IPH Grows Using Neon CRM

The IPH development team uses Neon CRM for their monthly giving program, expanding their donor base, and running additional campaigns like The Giving Catalog. They use the system’s donation forms to offer recurring options to their donor base, manage payment failures and donation renewals, and communicate with Key Club members. Using the CRM streamlined donation processing, they reduced the need for time-consuming manual follow-ups, and made it easy to track their growing monthly giving program.  

“Neon CRM has helped to simplify, automate, and make things easier. When somebody’s payment fails, for example, they get an email and click the link, and easily set up their next payment –and usually increase their giving a little bit.”

–Skylin Baestlein, Development Operations Manager, IPH

The team relies on Neon CRM to manage other types of revenue, too. Using Neon CRM, Meyerson, Baestlein, and the rest of the development team tracks all of their corporate relationships as well as relationships with individuals. They also use the platform’s grants management module to track and manage disbursements and gifts from donor advised funds. IPH staff have saved time, money and sanity using Neon CRM.

Grow Your Monthly Giving With Neon CRM

How can you create your own monthly giving program? Meyerson recommends using a platform that supports you while you grow.

“It’s really easy when you have a system like Neon CRM where folks can just sign up with their credit card or through EFT to easily give on a monthly basis.”

–Meghan Meyerson, Director of Donor Experience, IPH

With a new annual event, a thriving recurring giving program, and a strong CRM in place to manage it all, IPH staff grows their revenue while freeing up time to focus on what’s important: Building relationships with their supporters.

If you’re interested in learning more about the tools IPH has used to support the Key Club and other fundraising campaigns, drop in one of our group demos! They’re a great way to learn more about the platform without the pressure of a one-on-one conversation.

Find a time that works for you!

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