What should I do about people searching to cancel their monthly donation?

If you’ve seen data that suggests you’ve got supporters who want to cancel their monthly donation. Don’t bury your head in the sand, bury your head in this article instead.

cancel monthly donation

As fundraisers, we work so hard to inspire people to become regular donors so the last thing we want to see is our precious supporters cancelling their donations. Inevitably this is going to happen for a range of reasons.

We’ve had a few conversations with charities recently who are concerned to see search query data (usually in Google Ads) showing people are searching for how to cancel their monthly donation. It’s not nice to see that people are actively searching for how to dump you but fear not…

search query report showing cancellation intent
The above grab shows the search query report from Google Ads showing a number of searches relating to cancelling a monthly donation.

Reports like that shown above can provide really valuable insights on supporter intent. Based on the above data – the intent is clear – let me cancel.

In this situation charities often ask us should we add “cancel” as a negative keyword in our Ads account? In other words should we hide from those people who are searching to cancel.

Our unwavering advice on this matter is absolutely not, don’t shy away from this type of search query. It’s a really valuable opportunity to get back in front of your amazing supporters and remind them of the impact they’re having by making their monthly donation.

The best approach to this would be to have a page dedicated to “how to cancel your monthly donation with XYZ” – this way you should, eventually, start ranking number one in the organic search results for this term. You can then take control of the situation by offering your supporters advice on how to cancel whilst also reminding them of the amazing impact their donation is having.

This “save” experience should be part of your supporter retention strategy.

Should we allow supporters to cancel online?

Some organisations we talk to are considering building an interface to allow supporters to manage their contribution digitally. If you take regular donations through PayPal, AliPay or some other eWallet then it’s highly likely your supporters will already be able to cancel their monthly donation without talking to anybody at your organisation (it’s usually just a few clicks to cancel from within the eWallet interface – although the benefits of eWallets usually far outweigh drawbacks like this one).

There are clear downsides to supporters being able to cancel without talking to anybody, not least you don’t get the opportunity to understand why they wish to cancel and whether you can do anything to keep hold of them as a supporter. The upside is that if people really want to cancel they can do so seamlessly, quickly and without using too much of their own or your time.

The above in mind, we’d recommend thinking very carefully about the benefits of investing in building an admin console from scratch. Will your supporters really use this capability – will they even remember it exists or simply set and forget. What’s the return on your investment? We’d usually recommend considering “out of the box” solutions before custom building.

Want to talk more about supporter retention? Get in touch with a Ninja today.