Are you looking to launch or scale a monthly giving program? Great! Monthly giving is an excellent way to turn one-time donors into committed, long-term supporters of your cause. Here are 10 tips to help you create a wildly successful monthly giving program.
Why monthly giving for nonprofits?
For nonprofit organizations, fundraising is a constant challenge. In addition to one-time donations, nonprofits rely on a reliable stream of revenue to support their programs and services. Monthly giving programs provide this stability, and they can be an important part of a nonprofit’s fundraising efforts. For donors, monthly giving programs offer the convenience of automatic payments, and they provide nonprofits with a predictable source of funding.Perhaps most importantly, monthly giving programs show that donors are committed to the nonprofit’s mission and are invested in its long-term success. As a result, monthly giving programs can be an essential part of a nonprofit’s fundraising strategy.
1. Define your goals.
Before you launch your program, take some time to think about what you want to achieve. Are you looking to increase overall donations? Deepen relationships with existing donors? Attract new donors? Once you know what your goal is, you can tailor your program accordingly.
A nonprofit organization should have several goals for their monthly giving program in order to ensure its continued success. First, the nonprofit should focus on building a base of loyal, committed donors. Second, the nonprofit should strive to retain existing donors and attract new ones. Third, the nonprofit should work to increase the amount of money donated each month. Finally, the nonprofit should use the monthly giving program to thank donors for their support and cultivate relationships with them. By meeting these goals, a nonprofit can ensure that their monthly giving program is an effective tool for fundraising.
2. Do your research.
Learn from the successes (and failures) of other organizations. What works well? What doesn’t work so well? What could be improved? You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but you do need to make sure you’re using best practices.
If you’re a nonprofit looking to start or improve your monthly giving program, research is key. First, take a look at other organizations’ monthly giving programs. See what you like and don’t like, and take note of any best practices. You can also contact the organizations directly and ask questions about their programs. Additionally, search for articles and blog posts about monthly giving programs. This will help you get a sense of what’s working well for others and what challenges you might face. Finally, talk to your donors. Ask them why they give monthly, and see if they have any suggestions for how you could improve your program. By taking the time to research other organizations’ monthly giving programs, you’ll be in a much better position to create a successful program of your own.
3. Communicate clearly and often.
Once you’ve launched your program, make sure you keep donors updated on how their gifts are being used and the impact they’re making. Donors want to know that their money is going to good use, so keep them in the loop!
Monthly donors are a significant source of income for many nonprofits, as they provide a consistent stream of revenue that can be used to support programs and services. A key part of your email strategy is how you communicate with monthly donors. As such, it is important for nonprofits to communicate effectively with their monthly donors. There are a few key ways to do this:
Tip #1: Send regular updates
Monthly donors should receive regular updates from the nonprofit, letting them know how their donations are being used and what impact they are having. These updates can be sent via email, mail, or social media.
Tip #2: Give opportunities to engage
In addition to receiving updates, monthly donors should also have opportunities to engage with the nonprofit on a deeper level. This could include attending events, volunteering, or serving on a committee.
Tip #3: Say thank you
Donors should always feel appreciated, and nonprofit organizations should make a point of expressing gratitude for their gifts. This can be done through handwritten notes, phone calls, or public recognition (such as listing donors in an annual report).
By following these tips, nonprofits can ensure that monthly donors feel valued and engaged in their work.
4. Offer multiple giving levels.
Not all donors are able or willing to give the same amount of money each month. By offering multiple giving levels, you can make sure there’s something for everyone. Plus, this can help Boost donor retention rates as donors feel like they can increase their support over time.
5. Segment your communications.
Talk to your different groups of donors differently – based on how much they give, how long they’ve been giving, or even why they give. This helps ensure that every donor feels valued and appreciated. This is especially true for monthly donors — they deserve their own specific communication plan.
Start with a great welcome series. The welcome series helps orient donors to your nonprofit and begin to trust you. A typical single gift donor has a welcome series with an appeal at the end, you don’t need this for monthly donors.
Send them updates on how their donations are being used. This could be in the form of an email newsletter or an annual report. sharing stories and statistics about the impact of their giving helps to show donors the difference they are making.
Finally, invite them to special events or VIP experiences related to your nonprofit. This could be an open house, behind-the-scenes tour, or special concert or performance. Donors will feel appreciated and connected to your organization when you give them exclusive access like this.
6. Make it easy for donors to give.
The easier it is for donors to give, the more likely they are to actually follow through with their donation. Make sure your donation page is optimized for mobile devices and that it only asks for the minimum amount of information necessary. You might also want to consider offering recurring donations via text message or chatbot.
7. Get creative with fundraising campaigns.
In addition to (or instead of) a monthly giving program, consider launching special fundraising campaigns throughout the year focused on specific issues or needs. These can be a great way to engage potential donors and raise awareness (and funds ) for your organization.
You don’t want to appeal to monthly donors every month, but you don’t want to exclude them entirely from appeals. Monthly donors will often give multiple times per year outside of their monthly giving. At Food for the Hungry, our average gifts per year for monthly givers was 13.9 – meaning monthly givers provide approximately 2 gifts above their typical recurring gift.
8. Invest in technology.
The right technology can make a big difference when it comes to managing a monthly giving program. Look for software that will automate repetitive tasks, like thank-you letters and tax receipts, freeing up your staff’s time so they can focus on more important things.
If you’re a nonprofit looking for ways to increase your monthly giving, investing in technology is a great place to start. There are a number of fundraising platforms and tools available that can help you boost your monthly giving program. For example, online donation platforms like GivingFuel make it easy for donors to set up recurring donations. You can also use data and analytics tools to track your progress and see where you can improve. By investing in technology, you can make it easier for donors to give on a regular basis, and you can also gather valuable data that will help you grow your nonprofit.
9. Keep an eye on attrition.
For nonprofit organizations, monthly giving programs are a great way to provide a reliable stream of funding. However, donor attrition can be a problem for these programs. Donor attrition is the term used to describe when donors cancel their recurring gifts. This can be a challenge for monthly giving programs because it can lead to a drop in revenue.
As a result, it is important for nonprofit organizations to keep an eye on donor attrition rates. There are a few things that nonprofit organizations can do to reduce donor attrition. For example, they can send thank-you notes to donors or make it easy for donors to change their giving amount. By taking measures to reduce donor attrition, nonprofit organizations can ensure that their monthly giving programs are successful.
A key tactic to decrease monthly donor attrition is to measure the primary attrition points in your donor’s journey. For example, you might find donors leave in month one and month nine. You might insert a new trust-building email in month one to help reduce attrition and send the donor a physical token, such as a calendar or magnet, in month 7 to help reduce month 9 attrition.
10. Help your donors feel like a part of the team.
It is important to make sure that monthly donors feel like they are part of the team and not just another name on a list. One way to do this is to send personal communications regularly. This could include an annual update from the Executive Director, holiday cards, or handwritten notes expressing appreciation. In addition, be sure to invite monthly donors to special events and give them opportunities to provide input on key decisions. Another tool to help monthly donors feel engaged is to survey them to find out their opinion. This will help the donor feel like he is a part of the solution and has a stake in the direction your nonprofit is headed. By taking these steps, you can help monthly donors feel like they are part of the team and ensure that they remain committed to your cause.
By following these 10 tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful monthly giving program that will engage and retain donors for years to come!