What Nike can teach nonprofits about building a great sustainer program

In Featured, Sustainer Giving by Dave Raley

If there was any doubt we live in a Subscription Economy, Nike just confirmed it with the announcement of its new Nike Adventure Club — a “sneaker club for adventurous kids.”

The club offers three levels of subscription — four pairs a year for $20 a month, six for $30 and a new pair every month for $50. But there’s more — the Nike Adventure Club isn’t just shoes delivered to your door a few times a year — it promises to be an experience for your kids.

Here’s how they say it on the website:

Adventure Delivered.

Brand new Nike and Converse shoes delivered to your door with activities to spark adventure in the everyday.

Every pair of shoes delivered becomes an experience. When kids unbox their latest pair, they’ll find activities designed to “spark adventure in the everyday.” Every week, Adventure Club members are invited to join in a fun activity led by another kid in the club.

But it doesn’t stop there. The Nike Adventure Club has a mission:

More adventure, more community, less waste.

In addition to the adventure that your shoes and activities bring, the club builds community in two ways: 1) through the activities that make kids feel like a part of the club, and 2) by supporting local kids’ activity programs.

And there’s more — every pair of shoes comes with a postage-paid return bag. If the worn shoes are in good condition, they’ll give them to families in need. The rest get recycled into playground surfaces that will be donated to local communities.

Is this a product, or a cause?

This “product” is sure acting a lot like a nonprofit cause. I wonder what we could learn from Nike in the nonprofit world?

Crafting a great brand. Creating a memorable experience. Cultivating community.

Subscriptions are everywhere

Shoes are just the latest consumer product to enter the Subscription Economy. Cars were earlier this year. Your doorbell now comes with a subscription. And before that, groceries, music and software. It’s no wonder donor behavior today is following that trend…

Here’s how we define the Subscription Economy:

The Subscription Economy

The rise of recurring subscriptions in every area of consumer life and business. Customers are buying access always-on and anywhere, memorable experiences, ongoing value and personalized service.

 

This is exactly what the Nike Adventure Club has done. And I for one can’t wait for the adult version of the program!

Nonprofits need to take advantage of the Subscription Economy

With recurring subscriptions pervading every area of our consumer lives, it should be no surprise that donor behavior is changing. 52% of Millennials are more likely to give monthly over a large one-time donation, and 49% of all Baby Boomer and Gen X Donors are already enrolled in a monthly giving program.

How is your organization doing? Do you have a recurring giving program that is more than a glorified check/EFT giving option? Is your sustainer program a memorable experience? Does it cultivate community? Is it based on a remarkable brand?

At Masterworks, we’re fired up about creating and cultivating next level sustainer programs. In a sea of flat or declining nonprofits, a thriving sustainer program is a common bright spot among ministries that are growing rapidly.

Growing sustainer programs in the Subscription Economy

If you’re thinking of building or redesigning your existing sustainer program, we’ve got a presentation that I think you’d find very helpful. It’s called “Growing Sustainer Programs in the Subscription Economy.” If you are interested, drop me a note here, and I would love to get that to you. And if you just want to nerd out on sustainer programs and the Subscription Economy, I’d love that too!

Dave