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In today’s episode, Joe talks to Michelle Frechette of GiveWP, the perfect online fundraising platform to increase your online donations, manage donors, and gain insight on your effort — all from directly within your WordPress website.

Michelle enthusiastically retells her fundraising expertise at GiveWP. She shares her fool-proof strategies on getting recurring donations and sustaining a good relationship with fundraising donors.  

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 02:18 Welcome back to the pod, Michelle!
  • 04:36 What’s unique about WP Coffee Talk podcast?
  • 05:50 Having thoughtful guests and a few long pauses
  • 09:07 What is a recurring donation?
  • 11:16 Tips to keep recurring donations
  • 16:03 Is a regular email reminder ideal to keep donations coming?
  • 19:53 First donation and 30-second videos 
  • 22:22 Payment processes should stay on site to retain trust
  • 26:22 On-site payment: one-time versus recurring
  • 28:53 Different features for donors at GiveWP
  • 32:16 Other payment options 
  • 35:06 GiveWP is not a full functioning CRM
  • 37:26 Active assistance for customers 
  • 39:06 Is GiveWP headed to being a CRM?
  • 41:16 Where to find Michelle online 

Episode Resources:

Podcast Transcript:

Joe Howard: [00:00:00] Howdy folks, Joe Howard here today, I got to sit down and chat with Michelle for Frechette. Now, if you don’t know Michelle, she is such a breath of fresh air, man. I always feel, you know, those people, when you have a call with them and you jump off the call and you just feel better, you just feel more positive.

Well, Michelle is one of those people. I always just get such positive vibes from her. It’s really infectious. And she’s also just a real expert, has a lot of experience, both just professionally in nonprofits and at give. Around their donation plugin. She just has a lot of experience helping nonprofits do better.

So we got to chat a lot about donations one-time versus recurring donations. That was a big focus about how to help if you’re an agency or a freelancer, how to help the nonprofits you’re working with do better in one of the areas that’s most important to them, which is driving donations. To the organization.

So it was a lot of fun to chat with her. I actually figured out that this halfway through the episode, I was just like, wow, this is I’m going to have to shoot this episode to our support team so that they can listen and hear some of the things Michelle has to say about helping nonprofit clients. Cause maybe we could do some of this stuff or focused on some of this stuff a little bit more so super valuable episode.

I hope you enjoy. And without further ado, please welcome Michelle Frechette. Enjoy today’s episode.

WPP MRR. WordPress podcast is brought to you by WP bus. WP buffs manages WordPress websites, 24 seven and powers digital growth for agencies, freelancers and WordPress professionals. Join our white label program. And by next week, You could be offering 24 seven white label website support to your clients and possibly growing your monthly recurring revenue or become a WP box affiliate to earn 10% monthly payouts every month for the lifetime of every client.

And finally, if you’re looking to sell your WordPress business or website, check out the WP bus. Acquisition unit learn more about all3@wpbuffs.com. Right? This week I have the opportunity to talk with Michelle Frechette. So Michelle we’ve been friends for a little while, but I don’t know if everybody in the WordPress space.

Knows you, if they don’t, they should, it tells folks a little bit about stuff to do with WordPress.

Michelle Frechette: [00:02:29] Sure. Thanks for having me back, John. I was thinking about the fact that the first time I talked to you, we, it was a video call and I was in St. Louis and I had just started working for give and do, and I got on a talk together just to see like, well, how could we help each other’s businesses out?

And so that was kind of cool. That was three years ago, who knew, but yeah, so I’m the head of customer success for give WP. I also have my own little podcast called WP coffee talk, and I just a whole host of other things that I like to give back to the community. Specifically, Wednesdays, I tweet out job opportunities for people, and that seems to go really well.

That gets a lot of traction and people seem to, um, to really enjoy it and put them back to WP career pages where I just list out. Career pages, dumpsites and things like that on different companies, websites. So just lots of

Joe Howard: [00:03:19] opportunities to give back. I love it. Yeah. I see that on Twitter. I don’t know if I knew it was every Wednesday, but definitely every once in a while I’m on Twitter.

I’m like it’s Michelle’s day for tweeting out jobs stuff, because I see all the job you’re tweeting out and it seems like a really cool opportunity. Cause I like the idea of like helping people find. Opportunities that fit them. I’ve talked with a few other business owners in the WordPress space and like the one consistent thing I feel like we all have in common is where like I’m looking to like hire someone for something, whether that’s a full-time hire or a freelancer to do X, Y, or Z.

Most of us are looking to hire somebody. And so the ability for us to share within the community, like, Hey, I know this content writer. I think they’d be a good fit over with you. Maybe you two should talk and just doing that could like make a connection that really has a huge effect. So yeah, I did. Yeah.

I

Michelle Frechette: [00:04:06] just randomly choose different companies and unless people specifically telling me that there’s something they’d like me to include. So I just try not to do the same, the same companies every week, but puffs have it in there once or twice now highlighting different positions that you have opened.

Just, it’s just a good opportunity for people to see, like in one place. That there’s a lot going on and there’s opportunities to be, to be employed and to, to

Joe Howard: [00:04:26] reach people. Yeah, for sure. And podcasts, obviously we have to talk about that folks that are listening on a podcast right now, they should go download another WordPress podcast, coffee talk.

Tell folks like the quick description of what the show is, is just sitting down a cup of coffee. I’ve been on the show. So I know, but tell folks what’s about, that’s

Michelle Frechette: [00:04:45] exactly what I actually ask. Every single guest, the same set of questions. Of course, everybody has different answers and that makes it pretty cool.

I think of myself kind of like the James Lipton of WordPress, like, you know, the same set of questions to every guest and that’s what makes it fun actually. So whether you have just your website. And you’re a business owner and you’re using WordPress for the first time. And it’s brand new to you or you’re Matt Mullenweg and you are one of the co-founders and CEO of automatic.

I asked you all the same questions. And so, and those, both of those things have happened. I’ve had guests from six out of seven continents. I just published my a hundred and third episode in two years. And, uh, I got about 30, more in the can that are ready to go out as soon as I can. You know,

Joe Howard: [00:05:28] it’s interesting talking with other people, who’ve done a hundred plus episodes cause we have a hundred plus episodes too.

And it’s like looking back, it’s like, Oh my goodness. That is a lot of episodes to have done. It feels like. It’s almost like strange looking back. Like I can’t almost believe that it’s been, you know, years of doing a podcast and a hundred plus episodes. And of course, I think we have to talk a little bit about episode a hundred of the WP coffee talk show where you had Matt on the podcast.

So cool. Feel free to tell him, Hey, WPM or our podcast would be a cool one for you to jump on too, but I guess you asked them the same questions as you ask everyone else. How was that experience? Is that cool? Talking with them? It

was

Michelle Frechette: [00:06:06] super quiet because of who he is, you know, um, there was more preparation involved than I expected.

So he has an entourage of people that handle those things for him. It wasn’t like I was just texting that and Mike about, Hey, you’re ready for that podcast next week. So I was talking to his people and getting things all squared away. And what does it look like to, how am I advertising it and all of those kinds of things.

So it was really, um, a learning experience for me as well, but I also had people warning me that he’s very thoughtful in how he answers questions. And so I should be prepared. For a long pauses, but it was so fluid and the conversation really floated and we both laughed and we had a lot of fun and what people have said back to me as well, that was an episode that really made me realize he’s a human being.

You know, he’s not just this person that sits on top of the organization and that he was like, it was so conversational. Wow. Michelle, he really just talked to you. I’m like, that’s kind of my super power. Like people are my super power. I just like talking to people and, and it was a good episode and it was a

Joe Howard: [00:07:07] lot of fun.

Yeah, I think about when you talk about someone who takes a little time before they answer a question, I think about like Elon Musk actually. Cause I don’t know if you’ve ever heard Elon Musk get interviewed, but he will take like 10, second pauses in the middle of an interview where like 15 seconds.  a little bit, it’s like a little bit awkward, but like for me, it’s actually not at all.

Cause I really liked that pause cause I’m like, wow, he’s really wanting to give a thoughtful response to this answer. So that’s where it comes up in my mind. But I’m kind of not surprised that like. Matt is somewhat the same way and wants to have thoughtful answers. You know, when he does his Q and a at, uh, the state of the word, I find that most of his answers, I guess, all of his answers, I’m trying to think of one that wasn’t well answered, but most of the time I think he is.

Very thoughtful answers and he knows exactly how he wants to answer the questions, but sometimes it just, he’s willing to take that time. Even if it’s three seconds, five seconds, 10 seconds to come up with the answer that he wants to give that in his mind is the right answer and not necessarily the fastest answer.

So I guess that was what

it

Joe Howard: [00:08:07] was

Michelle Frechette: [00:08:07] like. Right. But as a podcast or when somebody takes 10 or 15 seconds to respond on video, it’s fine. Cause anybody watching can see that he’s being reflective. Right. But dead air in an audio podcast is just like, no talk, please talk.

Joe Howard: [00:08:23] Yeah. It feels a little bit like awkward.

Like do that listeners think like messing up right now? Like having a little bit of that pause, there can also be, Oh, maybe he was just thinking about it. You’ll probably hear Morrison in the background a little bit. He’s hungry right now. So. So that comes through to people on the podcast. He’s just a little hungry right now.

Nothing to worry about the kid he’s allowed to be. Yes, exactamundo. So I’d love to talk a little bit more about some of the work you’re doing at gift donation, plugin stuff. I was just on with someone. I was doing just a sales call with someone the other day. Who asked us, Hey, under your performed plan, could you help us implement on page donations?

We have everything handled off page. Like people go to another website to do it. Can you help us handle it on pace? I was like, yeah, like give plugin perfect solution. One of the things you mentioned in some of the call notes, you hear something you want to talk about recurring donations, as opposed to one-time donations.

Can we like talk about this? Because obviously. WP MRR WordPress podcast, all about monthly recurring revenue, but it’s the same with a nonprofit monthly donations, as opposed to one-time donations. I think in a lot of times, it’d be probably more effective over the long-term to drive donations. So I’d love to hear a little bit more from someone who’s actually an expert in the donation platform.

What do you think about the recurring donations and yeah. Should people be looking into that more?

Michelle Frechette: [00:09:41] Absolutely. So, I mean, think about it this way. When you’re running a nonprofit and I’ve volunteered at nonprofits and worked, I even had a non-profit with a best friend once, you know, a hundred dollars donation feels vague, right?

So especially if you’re a small organization, a hundred dollars, like, wow, you got a hundred dollars. Right. But if somebody is giving me $10 a month, then that’s $120 in a year, as opposed to. A hundred dollars. And so even though it feels incremental in that $10 a month, doesn’t feel like it is much for the person who’s giving it or the person who’s receiving it.

It’s sustainable because it’s money that’s coming in over time. And the more money that you could have do that, it’s like a drip campaign, right? So you have money dripping in over time. That means that you can pay your bills longer or you can implement. You know, features in your nonprofit and services that you want to be able to offer to your constituents.

And so having that recurring revenue, it’s like a security blanket that you can keep doing what you want to keep doing and keep helping the people and the animals, or, you know, whatever the environment, whatever your cause is over time because you have that money

Joe Howard: [00:10:44] coming in. Yeah. I don’t know if I could add much more to that.

I think that’s perfect. Is this pretty much the same with monthly recurring revenue for a for for-profit business? Same idea, same concept. I would love to dig into a little bit about, because there’s the same on the same metrics around churn as well. Uh, yes. $10 a month is $120 over a year, but if someone stops their donation after three months, it’s $30.

It’s supposed to be a hundred dollars one-time donation. So the trick is as the same with monthly recurring revenue in general. How do you. Reduce churn or reduce number of cancellations. And how do you increase the lifetime value of a donator? So maybe we could talk about how folks in the nonprofit space do that.

Or if like you’re an agency or a freelancer doing work for nonprofits, will, could you advise people to do, to help a long gate that like every time that donation comes through, maybe an email sent, how do you like make people feel awesome every time that donation goes through, it’s like, I’m not going to cancel this.

This is perfect. I want to keep giving. Well

Michelle Frechette: [00:11:45] in fundraising. So people in the non-profit sector, especially when I used to work for 20 years, I worked in higher education. They called it development. Right? So development in, you know, in the tech industry is a little bit different than what they call development in the non-profit sector, especially education development is that fundraising.

Uh, and they actually call it friend raising more than they call it fundraising, because the idea is that you’re building those relationships. And that the better relationship you have with the donor, the more likely they are to give you big gifts and to give you gifts over time that are sustaining the same is true for any kind of recurring revenue, right?

So if I sell you a subscription and then you never hear from me again, am I likely to continue that subscription past one iteration or two iterations? Not as likely as if I am reaching out to you and building that relationship so that you see that we’re an organization that’s here to help you and here to sustain you.

Or in the nonprofit sector, we’re an organization that’s using your money to do good in the world. Right. And whatever part of the world that is, I always talk about dog shelters. It’s the easiest one to talk about because everybody loves dogs, right? So if I am a dog shelter and I’m reaching out to my donors, I’m thanking them for what they do.

I’m giving them opportunities to be involved in multiple ways. Then I am. Allowing them to see how they’re impacting, how we take care of the animals in the dog shelter, how the adoptions are working, that those animals are finding their forever homes, for example. And so building those relationships and being able to share that information, which includes transparency in how that money is being spent.

It’s not a give us money so we can do good it’s to give us money. So you can do good through us. And continuing that relationship for sure. One of the things that I always say, um, around customer success, because of course I’m the head of customer success is the number one thing in getting that recurring donations of getting those recurring purchases in the case of e-commerce is you have to have a product that’s worth buying.

And then worth buying again. And in the case of donations, that’s, you have to have a service that you’re providing the general public, that somebody somebody’s not only willing to give you money once, but they want to see you sustain. And so they want to make it worth giving you money over and again. So whether that’s something that somebody is buying for themselves or something that they’re help funding another way, make it something that people want to continue to give toward, and then back it up with human interaction, because it’s the relationships that will keep that

Joe Howard: [00:14:12] sustained.

Yeah, that relationship thing is like resonates a lot with me because it’s obviously so important for the nonprofit work and the, you know, making the world a better place for all that stuff that you’re talking about. But it’s like that for everything it’s the same with our company, you know, so, and we try to do good at our company too, but we are a for-profit company, but slightly it’s different, but it’s the relationships that it’s all about.

And would you say about relationships, nonprofits? I feel is totally true. I have a friend who runs a, um, a nonprofit in India. And I give every year and I fund, you know, students to have private school education in every year in India. It’s super easy for me to give cause like she’s my friend. And she actually like, literally sends me a personal email every year with like some details about what’s going on.

But also like she had the students who I funded shoot a video to say like Joe and Sterling. Thank you so much for giving. It was like, obviously I’m giving again, like I just like almost put me in like no choice to have to give again, like, because it was like, clearly my money is literally going towards making someone’s life more awesome.

Like I’m going to give again. So that’s an annual donation, so a little different, I would tear

Michelle Frechette: [00:15:22] up when I saw that kid’s face on the screen, I’d be like, Oh my gosh, like making

Joe Howard: [00:15:25] a difference difference maker. I was, I was a cat, a little emotional in there for a second because it really does. It’s not just like me swiping my card to make someone’s lives better.

It’s like someone literally like said, thank you. Like I have these textbooks and I got this year of education and I’m like, here’s what I learned. Here’s some artwork that I did. And it’s like, okay. It wasn’t just money that I gave. It was like a difference that I gave. And I think giving people that reminder regularly is always going to be helping and building our relationship.

With people in that sense is so important. Would you advise people send out, like, because you want us to kind of stay top of mind every month to people doing monthly donations, would you say it’s like best practice to make sure you’re doing a regular email campaign to people? I guess not everyone does email, but like, I guess a regular, however, you stay in touch with bill, I assume most nonprofits will collect email addresses with donations.

So an email would probably be, make the most sense. But is that something that you think would. Is it helpful for like agencies or freelancers to advise their nonprofits to do

Michelle Frechette: [00:16:24] for sure. So the first thing is, you know, and with give WP, for sure. I’m not here to do a marketing campaign, but just to tell you how it works, because it works well and whether whatever you’re using, you want to make sure that it works like this is every donation gets an automated email receipt or donation confirmation.

Right. So you should not just, uh, we, we have a nice generic one in there and certainly you can use it, but you should actually take it and make it more personal. Right. So yeah, it automatically says, you know, dear Joe, it’s gonna have some of that in there. It’s going to have all the details of the donation.

But instead of saying, thanks for supporting our organization, say thanks for supporting our local doc shelter. Your difference helps keep the tail’s wagging, you know, something that really makes it a little bit more. Personalized and not just personalized to the person, but personalized about your organization as well.

And so every time somebody makes a, whether it’s a recurring donation or a one-time donation, you want to make sure that those emails are going out to them saying, thanks for continuing to support the organization. You know, your money. It keeps the water bowls filled and the tail’s wagging and the wet nose kisses or whatever you want to say.

That’s going to make somebody feel like it’s a little bit different. It’s not just a. A standard, you know, email that’s coming through. And then if you have the capacity as an organization to do a monthly newsletter, Absolutely because a monthly news, you can change up the content. You can show the pictures of these are the dogs that were adopted.

These are the ones that are waiting adoption. This is ways you can give. If you can’t give financially, we need dry dog food, old sheets and blankets or whatever it is that people can give in different ways. And of course, like I say, I just keep using the dog shelter as an example. But you know, if you’re doing a children’s charity or mental health Saturday, there’s things that everybody needs, there’s ways that you can do.

And it gives you the opportunity to say. And if you have some time and you’d like to volunteer, we have opportunities for that

Joe Howard: [00:18:10] as well. I love it. I guess I get second. I think that’s a human psychology thing. I think because I get emails even from for-profit companies that are there. Thank you. Emails are really personalized and saying like, Hey, here’s some awesome stuff.

We did, you know, this month. Obviously you’re paying us for our services, but part of your payment goes towards doing this really cool work. So thank you for helping us do that. Even that like helps me say like, mom, It’s going to be a little harder for me to cancel this now, you know, and I think with nonprofits, it’s going to be even more important to say, like, here’s what we did this month, or here’s the exact difference that you made?

Like, here’s a picture of a dog that we were able to save because you gave money. Like know, people are, I’d have a hard time being like, sorry, I can’t give any more. It’s like, Oh, I have a dog. I got to keep saving dog.

Michelle Frechette: [00:18:57] That’s nice. Got to stay in the shelter longer. You, and I both appreciate the big org chart as well.

So like big one’s heart is one that does that very, very well. So I give on a monthly basis. I get my thank you every month. And the first time we give Dan maybe sends a video, he goes out walking with his dog every day, uploads 32nd videos. Thanks you personally. And the first time I saw that, I was like, that’s super cool.

Within a month, I was volunteering to help them install, give, I mean, they had give, but like install some new forms and things like that. And now I’m like, Fully entrenched. I’m in the weekly meetings. I am part of the conversation there and I’m doing word fast and all those other things. And, and I know that the VP of ops supports that organization as well.

You are sponsors for word Fest. It’s one of the organizations that does that so well that you can’t help, but want to be

Joe Howard: [00:19:43] involved. Yeah. Yeah, totally. Yeah. We’re sponsors of live events and donators on a regular basis as well. I want to rewind a second to what you said about some of the things he does when you first make a donation, that personal video for 30 seconds.

Yeah. I think that. A lot of people were always thinking like, how do I automate things? How do I scale things? How do I do things faster? How do I send the automatic email out? So I don’t have to send email out. And in some cases, maybe when you’re trying to scale something or grow something faster, it may make sense to do more automation.

But if you can take five minutes a day to shoot 10 32nd videos and just shoot them out to people like that is going to create unforgettable experiences where people like that, that was an experience you had. And like you remember it that you remember when that happened, it stuck with you. And now you’re talking about it.

On a podcast, right? So it’s clearly something that maybe is not the most scalable thing to do. Like what’s he going to do when he has a hundred people signing up a day, shoot a hundred videos, probably not, but for now it makes sense for him to do that and to create those positive impacts for people so that they will do more like help volunteer more and be more connected with the organization.

And so I really liked that example of something that’s like a super small thing to do that does take a little bit of time to do, but. Hey, he does it on when he walks his dog. What else is he doing? And look at the impact it’s had on you and as a community member in the WordPress space to do all this other, you know, spreading of the good, big orange heart word.

So I think that’s like a really cool idea for maybe non-profits, but. Everyone to do in their business to think about the like small high-impact things you can do that may not be automated or whatever, not like the sexiest automation you’ve ever seen, but it’s like, it can still be the most effective for things you do.

So that’s cool.

Michelle Frechette: [00:21:22] Well here at game WP. When somebody makes a purchase, if they give us their phone number, we call them within a week just to make sure that they understand how to use the software. We don’t want them to like, have purchased it and then not use it because they don’t understand how to do the onboarding.

So we offer them opportunities. We make, we reach out to phone calls. We call them six months in again, to make sure things are still going well. Because number one, we want to make sure they’re successful. Number two successful customers are the ones that are happy as they built that relationship with you.

They’re much more likely to sign up for year two again, and let that subscription continue

Joe Howard: [00:21:52] to, I know y’all have been doing that for awhile. I remember hearing for the first time you like call people to see if their plugins are working. If like, as literally never heard of other plugin company doing that, but that’s like a really cool, it makes it so.

Unique, like talk about unforgettable experience. Like I’ve downloaded. I bought 10 plugins on calls me. I get an automated email. Like that’s it. I got a call from give man. They really like want to give to me. They want to do good for me. So I love that. And actually kind of flex as well into the next thing.

I want her to talk about, which was using the give plug-in is in terms of doing donations and how nonprofits can do donations actually on their website, as opposed to sending people off to maybe a separate site that opens a new tab to check out. I was on, again, a call with someone who was a sales call for WP buffs, and they were asking about if we could help them implement.

On site payments as opposed to offsite payments, because they had a link to, as donate here, it opens a new tab. So it doesn’t close that tab, but it goes to another domain and that’s probably not the ideal way or the biggest trust building way to accept donations. Maybe it could be, but I can never see places where they go to a new domain.

They’re like, where, where am I? Like, what website am I on? This is weird. So is that something that you. I mean, obviously it gave us an onsite donation plugin, but is that something that you’ve seen that when people switch to give, if they actually find that it makes. The on-page donation actually like affects the conversion or the click through rate or the, like the number of people who actually go through and make the donation.

Michelle Frechette: [00:23:22] Anecdotally, I have that information. I can’t just pull up some numbers for you off the top of my head, but absolutely think about it. Like if you go to Amazon, like I buy things from Amazon, especially during the pandemic, I’ve been ordering more and more things right online. If I was ordering an Amazon and I went to hit a payment and it took me to some other payment processors website, I’d be like, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, what’s going on here.

Right. So yeah. Because staying on site, you’re much more likely to hit that button at the bottom and know that that’s donation has gone through. So that donation goes through. You get immediate confirmation, you get it right on screen. It tells you, thank you, your donations when processed. Here’s what the receipt looks like.

Andy, you’re getting an email receipt as well. So you have absolute in real time information, as opposed to I hit that donate button and now it’s taking me someplace else. And there’s another step. So now I’ve started, you know, maybe I’m losing trust. Maybe I’m just a little confused. Um, you know, you have older donors that are like at churches and things like that that are going well, what just happened?

I don’t really know what I’m doing. I better close that down because you know, their kids and their grandkids have told them, grandma be careful when you’re making payments online and all those kinds of questions. So you want to make sure that you’re controlling the experience in such a way that people feel like they’ve done the right thing because they didn’t.

Click something wrong or things like that, but also that they feel confident that at the end of the day you have the money they intended you to have in a very safe way.

Joe Howard: [00:24:41] Yeah. Yeah. I think I feel the exact same way when I click to a new new place, unless it was like PayPal or something. Some of them, it sounds just like a PayPal button that goes to new place.

And I’m like, I understand how that works. I’ve done it before, but if it’s some like random payment processor and I’ve never heard of them, I might be hesitant to check it out. I probably would be hesitant to check out. So I think on-site reoccurring payments sounds like the move.

Michelle Frechette: [00:25:06] Absolutely. And PayPal actually is rolling out a new way to do business so that you don’t actually have to leave your site to process PayPal pay payments.

So PayPal payments is new. We have PayPal donations where people can put the credit card onsite. They never leave, or they can actually make that payment, the PayPal payment right onsite and not have to leave your site to do that. So that’s something that you’re going to see rolling out more and more often than sites that

you’ve,

Joe Howard: [00:25:27] I’ve always thought like.

This should just be like an option to like, literally do this, like in an embed almost say like, I can’t imagine it’s that technically hard, but you know, PayPal, big company, even doing a small thing like that. Maybe, maybe just a lot of yellow and red tape, so that’s cool. Or in their case, yellow and blue color tape.

That’s right. Speaking company colors. Okay. Yeah. I noticed that earlier. It took a sip. Look at that buff testic mug. Yeah. Shop dot WP, buffs.com. Anybody wants to grab that? Very nice. Yeah. Awesome. So cool. That was fun. Throwing that story together. Actually, it’s just a Printful integration, so it’s pretty straightforward to put together.

Right? I think it doesn’t give, have a new store with some stuff on it. I’m gonna grab some,

Michelle Frechette: [00:26:14] I might have also a buffs hat and a tote bags and a kind of Mike, so got to support our

Joe Howard: [00:26:20] friends. Right? Amazing, amazing. The onsite payment thing. I just wanted to touch on it a little bit more in terms of the one-time versus recurring option that people have.

How have you seen some of your clients integrating the option to do one time versus the option to do recurring? Can you make it in the plugin so that. The first option is recurring, and then you can go like click somewhere to say, Oh, I just want to give a one time to kind of entice recurring giving.

Instead of one time, do you have it kind of like side by side? Is it like optional? How does that work

Michelle Frechette: [00:26:53] as a gift form? You can either have it be required or optional. So for example, if you’re a membership site, you might want to set it to be required. So it’s an annual payment. Not that people can’t opt out of it because of course they can, but it’s one of those set it and forget it kind of things.

You can also have it be optional. And you can have the frequency of the donation, either hard coded, right? So you can say, I only, this is always a monthly donation, or you can allow your donors to choose it’s daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. And so depending on how you set it up, they can opt in, they can be required or they can choose their own frequency, or it could be set for them.

Joe Howard: [00:27:27] Lots of options, always good to have options. How many edge cases out there you just celebrated that your a hundred K party recently. So you’ve got a lot of people, which means you have a lot of edge cases. So having a like different options for people is like, when you’re starting off, you don’t need all the options.

But as you get more advanced, like you’re going to have 10 people a day with like, does your thing, do this? That’s your thing to do that. And you want to try and make as many of those people happy as possible. So more options means. Hopefully taking care of more edge cases.

Michelle Frechette: [00:27:54] Absolutely. Absolutely. And those edge cases start to creep in and more and more, you know, I think there’s probably only four or five times over the course of the last three years.

Somebody said, how can I accept Bitcoin? You know, but of those four or five times, like two of them were this year and the other two are sprays that spread out over two years. So you start to see things that. Become more and more frequent or sometimes, you know, I had somebody a couple of weeks ago, say, can I do X, Y, Z?

And I said, well, unfortunately, no, that’s not one of the features of this. And he got angry and he’s like, this is something that everybody needs. And I said, here’s the feedback on it. You can look and see that only two people ever have requested this function. So it’s not worth, I mean, I, you don’t say to a customer, it’s not worth our investment to develop that.

But the truth is if there are, if there are only two people out of a hundred thousand users need that, right. That’s not where you focus

Joe Howard: [00:28:39] your development. I’d love to dive a little bit more next. I think that’s like something that’s really important for a lot of companies to do a lot of plugin development companies so that they can know what feedback they’re getting at, what rates so they can know what new things they should build.

Is that something that you have on give wp.com? Is it on the website somewhere so people can like shoot a link to people or is it internally, and maybe you shoot screenshots to people on emails.

Michelle Frechette: [00:29:01] It’s actually, it’s something called canny. And so we use something called candy for feedback and yeah, it’s its own site.

So I think it’s feedback dot give to hear.com or something like that. And there’s a public facing site and then there’s an internal site, so we can make internal notes that aren’t public to everybody for, as we work through development. And as we have discussions about features, bugs, things like that, but then we can also shoot like an email to somebody or shoot a link to somebody’s email and say, you can upload it here.

Or here’s where you can see the progress as we discuss it publicly and that kind of thing. So, you know, we have people, for example, that really want to be able to do text to give. And so that’s a feature that’s been unfolded quite a bit and people can follow along and see that is that in development right now, it’s not because of complexity of what it is and the things that we have higher up on the list.

Right. But then there’s things like peer to peer giving where people want to be able to do front-end submission. And we have a workaround for that, right? You can use gravity forms, you can use the Ninja forms to create front-end submission. It creates the form on the backend. Somebody approves it, et cetera, but we’re working on a plugin for that.

So make it a much more easy way to do that. And so the feedback on that you’ll see a lot more

Joe Howard: [00:30:07] mean. I just looked up candy. It was just candy dot I O C a N N Y. Dot IO looks really cool. It seems kind of like, like Intercom, not in the sense that it’s the same tool, but insistence that you just like put it on a sub-domain or something.

And it’s like, it makes it really easy to just like have a super awesome, great UX UI tool by just like having yeah, exactly. Forgive. So I think that’s a really cool solution that other people maybe listening to be like, Oh, what’s Kenny, Kenny, that IO. The text to give thing, I think is like, interesting.

That sounds like a huge project, right? It’s not like, Oh, we’ll just do it in a week. Right? It’s like, that’s a big, big project by also do know how effective that is. My wife’s still does nonprofit work, but she used to work at a nonprofit that did a big dinner every year, a fundraising dinner when we were still able to write years ago feels, but they did a big text to give every year to fund a new fellow.

And it was. It looked technically complex, but also just, it was super effective though. So that’s something, I guess, give us the balance. Like a lot of people want this, you know, and then there’s the business decision where it’s like, okay, if X number of people said they want it, how many people are actually going to use it?

How much are we able to increase revenue for the business, for people who are going to buy this? How many new customers we’re going to get because of it? And does that help fund the development of it? If it’s going to cost a hundred thousand dollars of time and resources to build well, there’s some business decision in there too, to say like, of course we want to build this for everyone.

If it was just that easy would, but it has to kind of make sense from a business and financial standpoint as well. Right.

Michelle Frechette: [00:31:42] And it is on the list of future development. It’s not on that. We’re never doing this list. So it’s just a matter of finding the right balance of when it’s appropriate and how we can direct our resources to get that done in a way that doesn’t affect the usability and the staff that we have working with the product that we have right now.

Sacrifice

Joe Howard: [00:31:59] all the good work that you’re doing now for customers to like have one cool thing we’re working on, you know, it’s gives a bigger company than that and can’t just put down everything you’re working on right now. I did want to rewind quickly because you keep saying things I want to talk about and like, okay, I have a thing to say, but I want to rewind back to that thing.

Um, Bitcoin, is that something that I think you said, yeah. Two people all last year, two people this year, so far, so maybe slight acceleration. But is that something that you think may be on your plate at some point to start accepting crypto currency? It’s

Michelle Frechette: [00:32:32] not in our list of current development, for sure.

One of the ways that I. Tell people that you can do it is to use our offline donation option. Right? So I’ll find donation is a way that somebody is basically making a pledge. They’re telling you how they’re going to give you money. And then when they click that option, they’re given the address to mail a check to, for example, well, with Bitcoin, we know that there’s either addresses you can use, or there are QR codes that you could include for people to be able to give that way.

So a work around for that is to put that information in the offline donation so you can accept it and it will show up there. In your collected. The only thing you’d need to do is once it’s verified the abuse of the funds and then change it from a pending donation to a completed donation. So there’s a slight manual component to it, but it doesn’t negate the fact that you could still use other means to be able to collect those payments.

And those donations. So, yeah, so it’s, it’s, it’s coming a lot

Joe Howard: [00:33:28] of challenges around accepting Bitcoin as well, but just cause it’s like, it’s not FDAC insured, like to work with banks on that. Like there’s a lot of legal and technical requirements that just want to make sure you’re putting. The business in a good position to make sure you’re not doing anything illegal or something.

That’s just not. So I

Michelle Frechette: [00:33:49] know it’s not new new of course, cryptocurrency has been around for a little bit, but it’s still new enough that you’re not seeing. A lot of nonprofit organizations have a crypto wallet. I mean, you can’t pay Amazon with crypto. So, you know, it doesn’t make sense that every organization is looking to accept cryptocurrencies, but those that are, there are ways to do that on your site.

There’s ways to do that. And then with manual donations or with offline donations, you can still incorporate it into your give database and still see those overall donations and reports. There is a way

Joe Howard: [00:34:20] around it. Yeah. It seems like accepting Bitcoin. I think it’s possible for a lot of businesses. You just have to have like somewhat of a separate workflow for it.

Like, I can’t really work with him current workflow, but you can still do it. It’s just like, it’s just a little bit of a workaround. You’d use the QR code they give over here. You have to like, you know, make sure you get that alert. So you Mark it as paid over here, but. It still works. It’s just like a little bit of extra work, but I think honestly, any business who wants to accept Bitcoin is not the point where it’s like, you click a button and you can accept it.

Right. It takes a little extra work, but I think most people who would say, I want to accept Bitcoin would be probably be willing to take, you know, an hour or two to. On the workaround and figure out just exactly how to get to work. Exactly.

Michelle Frechette: [00:35:00] But certainly not going to work like a traditional payment processor, which is what, the way our gateways are working right now.

So

Joe Howard: [00:35:06] totally, I’d love to hear a little bit more about, because give, obviously like you can accept donations on give, I think people are listening, probably know that at this point. What about some of the management of some of the like. Relationship management stuff terms of, okay, you can accept donations, but how are we using this database of people affectively?

How are we doing some of our outreach? Is that something that is in the backend of give as well? Like the relationship management part or like the actual work of nonprofit and donation stuff. Yes.

Michelle Frechette: [00:35:37] I know you absolutely can accent for sure. Like, like my answer to almost everything is, well, it depends, but the truth is that it’s not a full functioning CRM and it wasn’t intention to be a CRM.

It is a way to accept donations. However, That being said, you can, you can pull information out of there into a CSV file. However you’d like, and you can always upload CSB files into third parties. You can upload them into any spreadsheet processing and then create reports and, you know, mail merges and whatever else you want to do that way.

It also give, has the ability to use a Zapier. So if you’re using a CRM that has a savvier end point, you can zap your donations information. Into HubSpot or into Salesforce, for example, things like that. And we do have five ad-ons that work with different mail management systems. So active campaign convert kit, constant contact MailChimp, and.

I can never remember the last one, but there are five of them. And so if you’re using any of those as a CRM, you can use active campaign as a CRM. You can use a MailChimp as a CRM. And so you don’t need Zapier. Even you can send all the information through, including metadata to those mail processing things and use those as your CRM and have all that information

Joe Howard: [00:36:53] stored there as well.

Super easy way to do things. It takes like. Slight bit of technical know-how even like Zapier. We use Zapier a lot and it’s like to create as app is like, if there’s a little bit of like, I wouldn’t call it technical, but it’s like, I don’t know confidence to the technical platform to have to do it. Yeah.

I’m trying to remember who I’ve talked to about creating zap integrations for plugins though, but I’ve talked to someone who said like managing the Zapier integration is itself like a pretty big project or the folks that given the development team, having to manage all those integrations and kind of API stuff as well.

Michelle Frechette: [00:37:25] No. I was, you know, most people, our documentation really sets like walks you through it. I didn’t know how to use Zapier. And so I created a test account, you know, I have, I have a test account through give, and I wanted to be able to advise my customers when they’re having questions. So I went ahead and set up a zap for our demo site and I’m able to do screenshots and I’m able to walk her through the process because now I understand it.

And I’m not a coder. I’m not a developer. I don’t have that same skillset. Yeah, of course. I’m in the tech industry and I can understand how technology works. But anybody working on the backend of WordPress website has about the same level of knowledge, have the ability. And so certainly can walk them through those things.

But I have to say our documentation is absolutely phenomenal. There’s so much good documentation for give WP that helps you use it. And the customer success team was willing to hop on zoom calls and work hard customers through anything. I don’t understand. So I do have people well, who are technophobes, who are trying their best to understand how to use the product on their websites.

We hop on a quick zoom call. We have them share them their screen. We walked them through the process and instill the confidence in them that they know that they can actually do this. And then also by the end of the call, They do a test and they see that it’s working and they feel

Joe Howard: [00:38:33] happy. Cool. I feel like the focus on accepting donations right now is like, obviously like gives strong.

So like that’s what it does the best better than anybody using Zapier integration or other APIs or integrations to push people into like a true CRM. Totally makes most sense right now. Cause those CRMs right now are like, they’re the best this year. I’m so literally you add as API integration, it’s like, except the donation they’re in the CRM.

They have these specific tags because they donated this way. And then you just have to know how to use that CRM. My question would be, if you’re looking at give, you know, three years out, five years out, obviously who knows what’s going to happen then, but is that like a thought that the give team has of like, Oh, eventually we’d like to like.

That’s the next evolution of the company is to go from just being focused on nations to like truly being a within WordPress. CRM for nonprofits or are you like, I don’t even know if we’re thinking about that yet.

Michelle Frechette: [00:39:29] I will tell you, so I’m the head of customer success. I am not one of the primary owners, so I’m not in all of those conversations.

And if that’s a conversation they’re having right now, I haven’t been part of it.

Joe Howard: [00:39:38] Yeah. So maybe not quite yet, or at least not hasn’t spread around the team, but can you

Michelle Frechette: [00:39:42] tell, I used to be in

Joe Howard: [00:39:43] politics? Ah, yeah, you’ll slow maybe so, but I just saw, you know, That’s honestly, just like my brain thinking about like, what’s the next evolutionary step, but a lot of times there’s a lot of.

Non-profits out there. Like there’s no need to have to jump into something where the give team may not be an expert in end, or it may just not want to add complexity to what you do. Like maybe just staying simple and doing that one simple thing. Awesome. For more people and like fine tuning that thing.

Maybe the way to go. So I’m not here saying like that has to be the next step or that the next step should always be to like go into doing bigger, more complex things. I was just kind of asking, cause that’s where my brain went.

Michelle Frechette: [00:40:27] I always say we’re, we’re not jet pack. We’re not trying to do everything on the back end, but I’m saying

Joe Howard: [00:40:32] it’s a lot of senses.

That’s going to be a good thing. Yeah. Cool. Well, Michelle, thank you for being on the show. I really appreciate you hopping on and helping me to talk about. How I can serve nonprofits. Selfishly. Now I talked to nonprofits too, and I want to know how we can better help them at w P buffs in terms of the support we give them advice.

We can give them I’ve people on, like after I shoot episodes of this show and they get published, I actually shoot the ones that are relevant to people aren’t doing like, Hey, just listen to this episode. Like, what I said is not super important. Like you can mute when I’m talking, but like when Michelle’s talking, listen to some of the stuff she’s saying, because that may be some advice that we may want to give.

Some of our non-profits are definitely going to do that after we get off here. So let’s wrap up. And once you tell folks where they can listen to the podcast where they can give online, where they can find you online, all that jazz. Absolutely. So

Michelle Frechette: [00:41:21] you can go to give wp.com and you can sign up for a demo.

You can download the free product because it is free to use, give without any of the ad-ons. You can get that right out of the WordPress plugin directory. We’re on Twitter at, at give WP. And so we’ve treated a lot of stuff there. Our blog is very rich. We blog several times a week with lots of great ideas for fundraising and ways to use.

Give to be more successful. My podcast is WP coffee, talk.com. You can download all the episodes. Listen to them right there. Also on Twitter at WP coffee talk. So, if you want to hear my conversation with my mom, like for example, hit me up and give a listen. He has such a mellifluous voice. He’s just so calming to hear him talk so cool.

Joe Howard: [00:42:02] Um, I’ve I’ve already listened to an episode. I’m going to go back and I’m give a second. Listen to the show. Last thing I ask our guests. To do here on the show is just to ask our listeners for a little Apple podcast review. So if you wouldn’t mind asking folks to give us a little review.

Michelle Frechette: [00:42:16] Absolutely. Yeah.

So give us a review at WP MRR. We want to absolutely know that what we are doing here and what Joe is putting out there is being useful to you. So give a five-star help a fellow out and help other people find this

Joe Howard: [00:42:31] good work. Absolutely WP M R r.com forward slash. Review board slash reviews. Forward slash iTunes.

I can’t remember the reporting domain that’s supposed to go there for slash iTunes. There’s actually probably have to change because it’s called Apple podcasts now. So I’m just thinking of all sorts of things today. So WPP mrr.com forward slash iTunes still gets you right there. Feel free to leave a review.

I have to see a

Michelle Frechette: [00:42:58] bunch of three, three Oh one redirects in your future.

Joe Howard: [00:43:00] I think they’re coming. They’re coming soon. Three Oh one to three Oh one to write page. That’s how redirects work, right? Yeah. A little comments. If you have time, something you learned from this episode, so we can shoot a screenshot to Michelle and say, thanks for helping us get this and why.

WP coffee talk, give them a review too. You know, if you’re on a review spree, just give everyone a nice little review. Um, if you’re new to love, why not? If you’re a new listener to the show, we’ve got a hundred, I’m not a hundred, but a hundred plus 140 something episodes on all sorts of topics you learned about some nonprofit work today, donations up to, but we’ve got all sorts of topics on the show.

So use the search function, WP mrr.com forward slash podcast and go binge some old episodes. So that one for show your engine right now, go binge your podcasts and help you grow your business. It was

Michelle Frechette: [00:43:49] roses over. Go listen to WP. Is that right? If

you

Joe Howard: [00:43:52] have a questions for me on the show, yo, at WP mrr.com, shoot us an email like the Q and a episodes every once in a while.

And I would love to answer some of your questions live. On the pod. So shoot those in and I will get you answers here on the WP MRR WordPress podcast. That is all for this week. We will be in your podcast players and on YouTube again next Tuesday, Thursdays for YouTube episodes. So, Michelle, thanks again for being on spin.

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