Author: Erica Waasdorp

Top 10 Tips on How to keep your Monthly Donors

Inside Look... This guide will cover the following topics: Keep the Value of Monthly Donors Top of Mind Don’t Keep Your Monthly Donors Waiting. Steward them early! Be as Committed to Your Monthly Donors as They are to YOU ACT Before Monthly Donors Leave Add Credit Card Account Updater Encourage Electronic Funds Transfers Test Call Your Organization Ensure You and Your Staff are Passionate about Monthly Giving Review Your Join and Retention Processes Look at Your Numbers Introduction! “FIGHT TILL THE LAST GASP.” — William Shakespeare, Henry VI

Why Direct Mail Fundraising Continues to Create Home Runs

Why Direct Mail Fundraising Continues To Create Home Runs In today’s world, everyone is talking about nonprofit online fundraising. But before there was online fundraising, the nonprofit sector used a little something called “direct mail fundraising.” But now that the world is making a shift to virtual fundraising strategies, is this type of fundraising no longer useful for nonprofits? We’re talking all about it and how it continues to be a great option for nonprofits! What is Direct Mail Fundraising for Nonprofits? Direct mail fundraising for nonprofits involves sending letters or mailers straight to supporters’ mailboxes. The whole process involves writing the letter, designing it,...

Free Nonprofit Webinar! Start a Monthly Donor Program NOW

Start a Monthly Donor Program NOW. 7 Reasons why you can’t afford to wait! Donors are the lifeblood of successful nonprofit organizations because they make up a large chunk of fundraising efforts. But having to search for new nonprofit supporters and take them through the donor cultivation cycle is a much more difficult process than reaching back out to past supporters. So, what if you could reach out to your previous donors? Better yet, what if you could streamline the entire process so you could count on their monthly donation? That’s where monthly donor programs come in handy. In this article, we’ll share how to start your monthly donor program. Plus, we’re sharing an opportunity for a...

Best practices for recognizing, thanking and retaining monthly donors

This is probably one of the most common questions I get whenever I’m presenting a webinar or an in-person session or workshop: “How do I best recognize, thank, cultivate and retain my monthly donors?” That’s why I’ve put together some common best practices. Of course, every organization is different, but most of these are very easy to implement. They don’t cost a lot of money and certainly they don’t take up a lot of your time. The more you can do and prepare before you launch your next monthly donor appeal, the better off you are. Here are three very important things to remember: The more you do in the Recognition, Thanking and Cultivation stage, the higher your monthly donor Retention....

7 Reasons To Focus On Monthly Donors

Donors young and old are interested and willing to give monthly You allow the donor to make a difference in a way that's convenient and affordable to them. 2-5x Monthly donors give more money. Typically they give two to five times more. And it is unrestricted. It is not expensive to get started with monthly giving. You already have the tools in-house with your payment processor, donor base, and email program. Monthly donors will continue to make extra gifts if asked and can be upgraded at least once a year. Monthly donors will provide the funds you can count on, month after month. You can plan your cash flow better and you'll know funds will come in no matter what.

How to Make Monthly Giving Easy in a Nutshell

By Erica Waasdorp, A Direct Solution, author of Monthly Giving. The Sleeping Giant and Monthly Giving Made Easy How to Make Monthly Giving Easy in a Nutshell Monthly giving is not hard. It doesn’t require much investment at all, and a little bit of time and effort go a long way. I hope this will help you change your mindset, and you’ll find that monthly giving truly is very easy. Why?

Top 7 ways to Find New Monthly Donors, even during the coronavirus.

First, let me start by asking: I hope you’re doing okay? I hope your event cancellations; the staying at home; the working from home; with or without kids who now must be homeschooled; and perhaps worries about parents or other family members aren’t driving you totally crazy. Take good care of yourself and give yourself a break. Then, let’s spend a bit of time looking at some of the ways you can make up for the lost revenue from those events and at the same time help you get ready for any future disasters or crisis that may come your way so you’ll feel much better getting on that next rollercoaster. This is where monthly donors are so tremendously powerful! Organizations that have monthly...

Ask a Nonprofit Expert – Answers to 7 Questions about Starting a Monthly Donor Program NOW.

As a follow up to the recent free webinar ‘7 Reasons why you should start a monthly donor program NOW’, we’re happy to share the answers to some of the questions we didn’t have a chance to answer during the webinar. These are very short answers of course. But feel free to contact Erica Waasdorp at if you have any additional questions or join her in one of the upcoming advanced monthly donor webinars. Question: Do you recommend that we set up a specific donor web form for monthly gifts? Yes, absolutely. Ideally, you’ll have at least two web forms. One that has one-time and recurring, one form that offers monthly only. When you’re promoting monthly giving and you ask...

The Most Effective Direct Mail Packs for Nonprofits | CharityHowTo

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp I hope you were convinced from one of my earlier blogs that direct mail for nonprofits is still the most effective way to generate donations from your existing donors and generate new donors. The next question you might ask yourselves then is how often and how can you best reach out to your donors, so they’ll be most likely to respond. Let’s start with how often you can reach out to your donors, so they’ll continue to love you. It’s always one of my favorite questions to ask at a webinar: How often do you send appeals to your donors now? Sadly, most nonprofits are not reaching out to their donors enough! I typically see many who answer once or twice a year. Only...

5 Ways to Add a Monthly Giving Ask to Your Appeals | CharityHowTo

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp If you’ve heard me speak or have read some of my blogs, you already know that I always advocate for the following: The more opportunities you offer donors to give monthly, the more monthly donors you will find! But for most organizations, there is always that fine line of having to bring in one-time short-term funds versus long-term sustainable monthly giving revenue. I get it. Trust me, I’ve been there. Let’s start with a Monthly Giving Case study Let me tell you when that short-term focus changed for a big organization where I was managing the monthly donor program. Every year, we created a budget to be able to do so many appeals to generate new monthly giving...

Segmentation is the key to your nonprofits direct mail success

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp

Why Direct Mail Fundraising is Better This Year-End Giving Season

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp This past weekend, I spent several hours going through the stack of direct mail packs I had received in the past two weeks. I reviewed each one, identified organizations I’d like to donate to and then I scanned in those that could help give me some new ideas for year-end giving appeals for organizations I work with. Every year around this time, I talk to nonprofits, struggling to decide if they should send out a direct mail appeal at year-end. Sadly, every year, some organizations drag their feet too long that they end up missing out on the best time of the year to generate the funds they need to support their mission! Why does this happen? I think there are...

Using a Match to Increase Your Nonprofits Monthly Giving Success

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp

3 Case Studies that Prove that Nonprofit Direct Mail Still Works in 2019

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp, Charity How to Presenter, Author, Blogger and Nonprofit Library Contributor I grew up with and in direct mail. I was fortunate to work at Reader’s Digest (RD) in Amsterdam right after college and it really shaped the rest of my career. I’ve always loved direct mail because you can measure results, but nothing beats seeing the boxes and boxes filled with responses coming back. I was ‘hooked’ on direct mail and all of us direct mail ‘nerds’ at RD loved recieving the latest direct mail samples sent to us from countries like the U.S. Australia, Canada etc. The general rule of thumb was that if direct mail packs worked in those countries, they’d most likely also...

How To Set Up Your Nonprofit’s Website For Monthly Giving

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp

The 5 Key Components of a Successful Monthly Giving Program | CharityHowTo

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp Setting up a successful monthly giving program doesn’t have to be difficult, as long as you keep these key components in mind. Let me share the top 5 with you: Commitment Accountability Preparedness Detail orientation Persistence For a successful monthly giving program these apply to the person who’s interested and willing to grow the program as well as to the program itself. Let’s take them one by one.

How to Grow Your Monthly Giving Program from Good to GREAT

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp

Drink Your Own Kool-Aid…Start Monthly Giving to Your Own Nonprofit

This past week I heard this expression several times, so I wanted to explain why it’s especially important when it comes to monthly giving. Let me start with the Wikipedia definition: “Drinking the Kool-Aid” is an expression commonly used in the United States that refers to a person who believes in a possibly doomed or dangerous idea because of perceived potential high rewards.”

Direct Mail For Nonprofits – The Number One Thing To Consider Before Sending Your Next Campaign

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp

How to Raise More by “Upgrading” Your Monthly Giving Donors

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp

How to Save Money on USPS Direct Mail Postage with Barcodes

Do you ever wonder how your USPS direct mail gets to your donor’s mailbox? And how you can use best practices to save money on all of your nonprofit USPS direct mail campaigns? Have you ever been to the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC? It’s located right next to Union Station and access is FREE. The museum shows in interactive ways how it all began. You’ll see how people literally risked their lives to make sure that the mail got delivered. From horse to stage coach to trains to planes…

Top 3 Hidden Gems to Uncover with a Monthly Donation Program

How a Monthly Donor Program Can Drastically Increase Your Nonprofit’s Revenue

This is a guest post by Erica Waasdorp

How Long Does it Take to Set Up a Monthly Donor Program?

This is a guest blog post by Erica Waasdorp How long does it typically take to set up a monthly donor program? From soup to nuts. At a recent webinar, I was asked the above question. The answer is: if you focus on it, you should be able to be up and running within a week. I realize that development people in small to mid-size organizations especially are always pulled in multiple directions and distractions are easy. That’s why I recommend you don’t launch the program until you have thought through and put in place the basics. But with a little bit of focus that can be done in a few days. You most likely have the systems already in place. Brainstorming about a name for a program can be done...

The 8 Fundamentals of a Monthly Giving Program | CharityHowTo

We’re big believers in the power of monthly donors. We have been managing monthly donor programs for decades and have seen the ongoing revenue it provides, especially in times of crisis. In some cases, it’s kept organizations afloat; even if they could not send appeals to ask for money, the monthly donations kept the funds coming in. That’s why we maintain that every organization can (and should) organize a monthly giving program. A few years ago when we first started teaching webinars at CharityHowTo, monthly giving was still in its infancy and was used primarily by larger organizations. But today, monthly giving is becoming more and more popular. With the right tools — which you may very...