Tips for Starting a Monthly Giving Program
Having regular and engaged donors is key to successful annual giving. A monthly giving program is important for nonprofits for several reasons:
Sustainable and Predictable Funding:
Monthly donors provide a reliable and consistent source of income for nonprofits. Unlike one-time donations or sporadic contributions, monthly giving programs ensure a steady stream of financial support that allows nonprofits to plan and budget more effectively.
Increased Donor Retention:
Monthly donors tend to have higher retention rates compared to one-time donors. Studies over the past decade have shown that monthly givers give more money and stay with a non-profit longer than non-monthly givers.
Enhanced Donor Lifetime Value:
Monthly donors have the potential for higher lifetime value compared to one-time donors. While the individual monthly contributions may be smaller, the cumulative effect of consistent giving over an extended period can result in a more significant overall contribution.
What has kept you from starting a monthly giving program?
Too much work.
No one will sign up.
It will take away from our other fundraising.
______ (fill in the blank).
A monthly donation program helps donors support your organization with regular automatic donations of a specific amount. Once they are set up, they take minimal administrative work to keep them running smoothly.
1. The first step with any new initiative is board support. In fact, they should be your first members of your monthly giving program.
2. Someone needs to be in charge of the program, and they need a reliable CRM. This can be the person who is responsible for annual giving.
3. Create a giving program with different levels, names, and benefits or recognition for each level. Having special recognition for monthly donors will deepen their connection to your mission.
4. Make sure your website is user friendly.
a. Make it easy for donors to sign-up
b. Make monthly donations the default setting
c. Highlight your new donor program on your website
d. Automate the donor email acknowledgements
5. Have a stewardship plan in place before you start asking people to participate.
6. Include a monthly donation option on all your appeals.
7. Start by asking your existing donors to become monthly donors.
8. Approach companies with matching gift programs and whose values align with your mission.
9. Recognize your monthly donors on your website, in your newsletter and at your events (with their permission, of course).
Use the tried-and-true SMART guidelines for setting your goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive. Even an initial goal of ten monthly donors is a great starting point.
A monthly giving program can also build a sense of community for these donors. They may feel more engaged, which could lead to larger gifts. They feel valued and are more likely to advocate for your organization and encourage their network of friends to become donors.
Monthly giving programs allow nonprofits to tap into this long-term value by nurturing and cultivating relationships with their monthly donors, providing regular updates on the impact of their contributions and inviting them to participate in the organization's activities. By recognizing and appreciating monthly donors, nonprofits can encourage them to increase their giving levels over time or consider other forms of support, such as major gifts or legacy giving.
Overall, a monthly giving program is crucial for nonprofits for sustainable funding, increasing donor retention, and enhancing the long-term value of donors.
Michelle Crim, CFRE
Dynamic Development Strategies can help. We offer coaching, grant writing, and fundraising services for our nonprofit clients. We specialize in small to mid-size organizations because we understand your challenges. Please contact us for more information.