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.
Because you already have the tools in-house.
Because you already have the channels. You are already sending letters, sending emails, using social media and you’re probably also making phone calls.
All it takes is commitment. The commitment to start growing your monthly donors. The commitment to look at your communications plan and find ways to incorporate monthly giving opportunities.
Especially now, as we’re starting to come out of the pandemic, monthly giving is easy for you as an organization but it’s also very easy for the donor. Monthly giving is very donor-centric, and it ultimately leads to much higher gifts and often leads to the ultimate legacy gift. Monthly giving also helps improve your donor retention. You’ll be able to double that, which will help you in the long run.
But don’t just take my word for it. Let me share a real live case study with you.
This demonstrates several very easy concepts a nonprofit of any size can use to grow its monthly donors. You can do this! Because Monthly Giving is Easy!
A small environmental nonprofit I’m coaching started with 15 monthly donors they had generated because they had the recurring giving option on their donation page.
We created the strategy and a plan for the year, and we set a goal of tripling that number by the end of 2021.
We then implement some little things, but boy, are they already making a difference. What’s even better, they were really easy things to do without much heavy lifting.
The fundraiser first contacted the 15 monthly donors with a personal thank you note and a little notecard asking them why they’re giving monthly. The testimonials she received back were amazing and they’re now used to reach out to other prospective monthly donors. Done!
The fundraiser created a monthly donor-only donation page and added a second button on the home page. One for Donate now. One for Give Monthly.
The fundraiser then added a second button in every email they send to donors.
The results: double the number of monthly donors!
Now, just a few months later, the nonprofit already has 36 monthly donors with just these few simple tweaks.
If you know that the typical monthly gift is some $24 a month, that’s $288 a year. That means this nonprofit just generated $10,368 a year! That’s nothing to sneeze at, right?
Meanwhile, while this was all going on, the fundraiser talked to some board members and donors and was able to score a small match. This is being used this summer to go for another push to generate more monthly donors.
Matches should not just be reserved for Giving Tuesday or Giving Days. You can use it for so many purposes in fundraising and you can use it at other times of the year. Matches work well for monthly gifts. Typically, best by using a goal of a new number of monthly donors you’d like to generate and if you do, then a generous donor will give an additional amount to support your mission.
Matches are a double win-win.
Not only are you generating new monthly donors who will support you on an ongoing basis for many years to come, you’re also generating that additional support.
So, you see from this case study that monthly giving is easy, and you can do a lot with a little bit of time and effort.
One hour a week can go far.
I coined the phrase #monthlydonormonday. What if you started with one hour a week, every Monday, to focus on your monthly giving program? Of course, you’re welcome to do more, but you should be able to do at least one hour a week.
Here are a few things I recommend you do in that hour:
- Look at how many monthly donors you have now. What’s their value? What’s their annualized value? Write it down and put it on your bulletin board or an easy-to-find spot. That’s your benchmark.
- Then look at your donation page. Look at your monthly giving donation page and if you don’t have one, create one. Change the monthly giving amounts to be lower (one-third or one-quarter of your one-time giving amounts).
- Look at your emails and social media. Where can you build opportunities for donors to convert to monthly gifts?
- Can you add a welcome email series? It may be something you’ve been thinking about for a while. Have one of those welcome emails focus on monthly gifts.
- Can you add a second button in every email? Can you add something in every email P.S.?
- Can you add some short social media messages and drive donors and prospects to a monthly giving donation page instead of the donate now one-time giving page?
- Can you reach out to your current monthly donors and ask them why they give monthly? Use those testimonials wherever you can.
- Can you add a little message about monthly giving in every e-news?
I bet you can say YES to all the above. If you do at least these small things, that cost you nothing but a bit of time, you’ll be well on your way to make monthly giving easy for your donors. Easy to find. Easy to click. Easy to donate.
Then take a moment and see where you are. How many monthly donors do you have now and what is their annual value?
Then keep going and apply the learnings from the above and do more of it. The biggest mistake nonprofits make is not asking for money. Donors cannot read minds so we will have to tell them how they can make a difference even with a small monthly gift.
Because those small monthly donors add up and become bigger and bigger.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out the charity how to webinars:
You can start with the free webinar on 7 reasons and then move on to the Hidden Gems…
And if you’re ready to learn other monthly giving made easy concepts that can be applied to nonprofits of any size, you can find out more right here:
I love monthly giving. I’ve worked in monthly giving for almost 30 years now and I see the tremendous power and lifetime value. Nonprofits need sustainable revenue and monthly giving provides exactly that.
You as the fundraiser have the tools. You have the channels. You just must add the commitment and willingness to use them to grow your monthly donors to the next amazing level.