Monthly Giving – Five Ideas

In the fundraising community we have been talking about monthly giving for a long time.  As fundraisers we know the value monthly donors can add to our fundraising efforts.  In some cases monthly giving has jumped the shark – face to face street fundraising is all about monthly giving. Some organizations are using this method with good results – others not so much. In this post I am referring to asking donors to commit to monthly giving through your appeals – on and off line.

ONE: EVERY response device should include a monthly giving option. For example:

YES! I want to make a tax-deductible contribution to this nonprofit organization. Please accept my gift of:

__$500 __$250  __$100 __$50  __$25

I would like to make my gift once/quarterly/monthly (please circle your choice)

Make sure your online giving tool offers a drop down or check box with the same options.

That’s step number one – offering the opportunity for your donor to decide how often they want to make their gift.

TWO: Encourage donors to make the commitment to monthly giving. We can do this by telling them what their monthly gift will allow you to do. What’s the impact? For example:

  • Your monthly gift of $50 will allow us to provide school meals for more than 200 children every month or 2,400 children a year.
  • The impact of your monthly gift can be measured. Your gift of $50 each month will spay/neuter one homeless pet getting them closer to a new, permanent home.

THREE: Create some special attention for these donors. Create a club or benefits to keep their loyalty. Write a special newsletter, keep in touch by phone, invite them to events. Determine why they selected to give monthly to your organization. Keep in touch with them and donors will remain engaged with your organization – beyond their monthly credit card statement!

FOUR: While these donors don’t have to do anything to “renew” their monthly contributions – normal rules are monthly donors remain as such until they call or write and ask you to change that commitment. It is our responsibility to ask these special donors to increase their gift. We could be satisfied with their monthly commitment – but should offer them an opportunity to upgrade their gift. And if we have engaged them appropriately as mentioned above, these loyal donors should want to continue their support and increase their gift.

FIVE: Don’t forget the thank you! There are all sorts of discussions in the sector around thank yous and monthly donors. Do we send them a thank you every month, quarterly, annually? Best way to determine this is ask the donor!! I give monthly to a couple of nonprofit organizations and  had to call them to ask for a yearly thank you as they were sending me thank you letters every month. Other donors might want monthly thank you letters – you never know. Best way to find out is to ask. With the databases we have available to us today – setting up thank you letters to the donors specifications should not be a problem. IN ADDITION – these thank you letters need to be personalized and updated – whether you send them monthly, quarterly or annually. Content needs to be updated and relevant to keep these donors engaged.

What are you doing with your monthly giving program? Great ideas welcome!

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