New feature: one-click donor upgrades using Upgrade Links

Sep 6, 2023
Nelly Dudukalova
Product Marketing Manager

There’s a new way to increase support from your recurring donors — Upgrade Links.

Upgrade Links enable you to create donor-specific donation upgrade links that can be included in marketing emails, SMS campaigns and other supporter communications. When your recurring donors visit these links, they can select from a series of personalized upgrade amounts and increase the size of their donations without having to reenter payment method information.

Increase recurring donation revenue

Recurring giving is the most powerful way for donors to provide ongoing support. With Upgrade Links, it’s now easy for these donors to increase their support over time.

For example, consider a donor who opts-in to recurring giving when making a donation to your organization. Their monthly donation might begin as a $10 gift, but by incorporating Upgrade Links into an annual upgrade email that you send, you can create a seamless experience for the donor to increase their support. That original $10 amount can then easily become a $20 or $30 monthly gift.

Using Upgrade Links, not only can you have multiply the lifetime value of individual donors, you can dramatically increase the output of your recurring giving program.

Ask for the right donation amount

Getting the ask right has always been a challenge, especially when trying to figure out an appropriate upgrade amount. But with Upgrade Links, you can put complicated spreadsheets and complex Excel formulas behind you.

Upgrade Links use AI to tailor upgrade amounts for each of your recurring donors. Using more than 100 personalization data points, this AI-assisted approach ensures that only the upgrade amounts most likely to be selected by a donor are displayed. And because Fundraise Up’s AI technology uses only first-party data, you can upgrade donors knowing their privacy comes first.

Upgrade donors in one click

Until now, getting donors to complete their upgrade has been tough. You’ve likely struggled with helping donors log into accounts they’ve forgetting the passwords to, getting them reenter payment method information, or coaxing them into completing the upgrade process over the phone. Upgrade Links are here to increase the success of your upgrade efforts.

With Upgrade Links, the upgrade experience occurs in as little as one click. It’s a secure and seamless way to get your upgrades over the finish line.

Links with verification

One way to create Upgrade Links is using an approach that includes a verification step. In this approach, a donor selects an upgrade amount and then confirms it by verifying their email address.

Links with encryption

Upgrade Links created using this approach utilize SHA256 encryption to identify supporters and their recurring donation plans. Because each link includes a signature unique to individual donors, the upgrade experience can be completed without an email verification step.

Two types of upgrades

You can use Upgrade Links to encourage upgrades in two ways:

Donation amount upgrades

Donation amount upsells do just that — they encourage donors to increase their base donation amount. Three AI-personalized upgrade amounts and a fourth donor-customizable amount are offered.

Cost coverage upgrades

Cost coverage upsells encourage donors to cover the transaction fees associated with their recurring donations. While almost all donors opt to cover transaction costs when making a donation, using this upsell approach with donors who don’t cover costs can be an effective way of reducing costs and increasing revenue from recurring giving.

Best practices for using Upgrade Links

Our partners at Media Cause are leveraging Upgrade Links to grow giving for their nonprofit clients. Here are a few recommendations they have for getting the most out of Upgrade Links.

  • Use Upgrade Links every January alongside your sustainer acquisition campaigns, upsell existing donors.
  • Set up an automated anniversary email to upgrade sustainers. Include personalize impact statistics and an upgrade CTA that uses an Upgrade Link.
  • Include an Upgrade Link in an upgrade CTA that’s integrated into your email templates. Use a display rule to show the CTA when the email recipient is an active recurring donor.
  • Make sure to only target active recurring donors. Inactive recurring donors can’t be upgraded.
  • Primarily target mid and low-level donors. Large-scale or automated upgrade campaign work best with these segments.
  • Don't ask for upgrades too often. Once every three-six months is recommended.
  • Don't try to upgrade donors too soon. We recommend waiting at least three months before upgrading new recurring donors.
  • Focus most of your upgrade efforts on how you make the ask. Donors should feel that increasing their support will produce perceivable value.

Start using Upgrade Links

Now is the perfect time to integrate Upgrade Links with your fundraising strategy. If you’re an existing Fundraise Up customer, you can start using upgrade links right now — explore the Upgrade Links docs to see how.

And if you want to use Upgrade Links but aren’t yet using Fundraise Up, create an account to get started.

About Fundraise Up

Fundraise Up is a technology company unlocking the world’s generosity potential by optimizing how people give. Our donation platform helps nonprofits engage more supporters and grow revenue by providing easy ways to increase conversion, enable modern payment methods, and personalize the giving experience for every donor. Fundraise Up is the partner of choice for UNICEF USA, The Salvation Army UK, American Heart Association, and other impactful organizations across the globe.

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