PAC Membership Grows Through Incentive Clubs

PAC Membership Grows Through Incentive Clubs

You may remember a hit song from the late ‘90s in which the New Radicals posited that “You Get What You Give.” While it doesn’t get as much airplay as it used to, the song’s lesson is as relevant today as it’s been for ages. You reap what you sow. You need to spend money to make money. You get what you give. How does that apply to PAC membership you ask?

When it comes to PAC fundraising, incentive clubs provide eligibles an important reason to give, and more and more PACs are recognizing their power. According to the Public Affairs Council’s 2015 Corporate PAC Benchmarking Report, approximately 45% of corporate PACs offer an incentive club to encourage PAC contributions. By establishing club levels with tiers for suggested giving, these PACs are using a proven strategy to strengthen contributions and incentivize participation in the PAC.  

How can incentive clubs benefit your PAC?

Bigger PAC numbers

Today, 45% of corporate PACs leverage incentive clubs, and, of these, 75% offer physical gifts to donors. Approximately 70% of PACs with an incentive club utilize live events featuring guest speakers, politicians, celebrities and senior executives to entice PAC donors to join. Incentives are much more than a “reward” for giving. When a PAC offers benefits — matching contributions to charity, live events, exclusive content, etc. — it demonstrates to prospective donors the value the organization places on its members. And these newly enlisted PAC members do more than expand the PAC’s base — they expand the opportunities for increased giving over time.

More membership involvement

Giving people “a little something for the effort” shows that you appreciate what they do. And when you show that appreciation, people remember. By offering benefits with PAC membership, stakeholders feel like they’re getting something for their support. And a tangible return on investment will make them more likely to continue or increase their levels of support. With a more active membership, your PAC will be stronger, more engaged and more likely to get results.

Lower risk

Anyone who has ever seen a high-level donor depart a PAC — whether because of retirement or moving to another company — knows the outsize hole they can leave. Higher-level donors also tend to be more senior, and as they retire, your PAC might see a 10 to 20% reduction in total contribution amounts. By increasing your number of new PAC members, you can mitigate the impact and loss of revenue from departing donors. Using a highly effective recruitment tool like tiered membership benefits helps you protect your PAC from losses with a steady stream of new members who represent the future leaders of your PAC.

The lesson?

As many as 10,000 adults are now retiring every day in the United States, according to Investopedia. PAC strategists can prepare their PACs for the retirement of baby boomer contributors by evaluating and implementing proven strategies that incentivize eligibles — and especially younger eligibles — to join. The benefits you offer today may just provide the inspiration your eligibles need to give tomorrow.  

720 Strategies helps its PAC clients prepare for the opportunities and challenges they face using a savvy mix of strategy, technology and strategic communications. To learn more, visit or call us at 202-962-3955.