5 Steps to Start a Monthly Giving Program

Advanced, Monthly Giving

By Jeremy Reis

Do you want a proven way to accelerate your revenue growth? I’m going to share THE donor program you need to start or grow.

Acquiring monthly donors is a proven way to accelerate your revenue growth.

A recent NextAfter study found that monthly donors are worth four times more than a single donor!

A monthly donor, often also called a continuity donor, setups a regular occurring donation with your organization. A monthly donation helps even out your cash flow throughout the year so you’re not relying on all of your income being raised at the end of each calendar year. Most monthly giving is recession proof; if you have a large number of small monthly givers, they’re less likely to quit giving when compared to a small group of major donors

Today, I’m going to give you five steps to making your monthly donor program a success.

1. Develop the Theme for Your Program

First, develop the theme for your program. People want to be a part of something. It’s in our DNA. We want to be joined with one another and building a monthly giving program is a perfect opportunity to help people connect. 

Develop a theme to have a central idea for the donor to connect to. For example, Charity: water created “The Spring” as the theme for their monthly giving program. 

The theme may be based around a “product” that you develop to help donors understand what their gift is going towards. For example, if you’re a nonprofit that provides medicines and medical supplies, you might say something like “$30 provides one person life-saving antibiotics each month.” If you are a homeless shelter, you might develop a product around job placement services, “Your gift of $40 helps one person find a life-changing job that will transform his future.” The product is an important thing for the donor to understand where their gift will be used.

2. Identify Your Target Audience

Second, identify the audience that will best connect with your monthly giving program. 

Create a persona for the donor. Name her. What does she do for a living? Is she married? Have kids? What are her hobbies and interests? Where does she live? Be as descriptive as possible for the donor. 

You will use the persona to know where to find your donors. Once you’ve created a persona, create a list of where these people hang out. What websites do they use? What do they have in common with one another? Which events do they attend?

3. Create Benefits and Communication Plan

Third, create the benefits you’ll provide to continuity donors. Will you send the donor a welcome kit? Will it include a premium? How will you communicate with donors? Will you use a private Facebook group?

The communications plan is crucial for monthly donor retention. I recommend creating a robust welcome series that helps reinforce the donation decision. This will help more donors stay longer.

4. Launch the Monthly Giving Program to Existing Donors

Fourth, market your monthly giving program to your existing donors. Tell your most loyal donors about the program.  Use a variety of channels to encourage people to sign up. 

Your existing donors will be the easiest target audience to convert to monthly giving. Another audience that may be open to the idea of recurring giving is your volunteers. Volunteers have an infinity for your cause and have invested time into your mission.

5. Launch Monthly Giving Donor Acquisition

And finally, launch to a wider audience. Now, it’s time to market your giving program using ads, direct marketing, and using influencers and brand ambassadors. 

Use the list you created in step 2 to identify the channels you should pursue for donor acquisition.

Building a successful monthly giving program provides a foundation of giving and cash flow.


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