By: Erica Waasdorp, President, A Direct Solution
Monthly giving is probably one of the least understood methods of sustainable giving in the US, but yet one of the most powerful ones. Once you start, you’ll experience the power, but it’s the starting that’s often the most difficult.
Today, I’d like to address the first 3 of The Eight Principles for Sustainable Fundraising™ as they all relate to monthly giving as a major driver of sustainability for your organization.
Truly, Principle 1: Donors are the Drivers®
Providing the opportunity for donors to give monthly is just very convenient. It makes it much more affordable for them to support your organization. Especially if you have many donors on a fixed income. Or, if you have younger donors with families who want to help but still worry about how to do that while getting their kids through college.
Making a small but regular donation will fit their budget much better. No gift is too small! It is the regularity that counts. For someone with a small retirement income, $5 a month may be all they can give, but it’s still $60 a year! And they’ll keep doing this for many years to come. So, if donors tell you that they’d like to help but don’t know how if they’re on a fixed income, be totally open to offering them the monthly giving option.
But, you’ll have to Begin at the Beginning™
You’ll have to start by making it easy for the donor to find your monthly giving page and easy to join. So, I recommend you check your online donation options and:
- Add “make it monthly” to your one time donation page
- Create a special monthly giving only donation page.
- Link the monthly giving only page to your home page
- Get your email list ready and start asking while linking to your Monthly giving only page.
Virtually every online donation processing system can handle the monthly giving option. That means that any size organization can generate monthly donors at virtually no extra expense.
Leadership Leads ™ is crucial for implementation of monthly donor program
This is where I often see all good intentions come to a screeching halt. Board members or bosses start asking: “Wait, why are you focusing on small donors? Don’t you have better things to do with your time? And boy, those credit card fees are killing us! Why would we convert a $35 one time donor to give monthly?
I have found that the best way to offset these questions is by using a real life example.
One of my clients is a dog rescue organization. They have 2,500 donors in total and currently 300 of those are giving monthly, generating $96,000.
Let me repeat that, ninety six thousand dollars!
Wait, 300 donors generate that much money?? And they’ll stay with you for years to come because they give automatically through their credit card. You can hire additional staff. You can save a lot more dogs. You can do a lot of things with that much money. You may forego that one big event you dread every year!
You’ll understand why the board president who manages financial investment is totally on board with growing this program at the fastest pace possible.
As to credit card fees, they depend on your online donation processor, but there is often room for negotiation The reality is, even if the fees are 3 to 4%, you’ll still keep 96 to 97% of each donation, so that’s totally worth it.
Some organizations already understand the tremendous impact and power monthly donors have for the sustainability of their organization and I hope you do too. Asking small donors to join your monthly giving program is the way of the future, but the time to start is now!
If you are interested in learning how to start your monthly giving program as a way to generate sustainable funding for your organization, contact me at email@example.com or via (508) 776-1224.
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on Monthly aka Sustainer aka Recurring Giving. She is author of the book: Monthly Giving. The Sleeping Giant, co-author of the Monthly Giving Starter Kit and Marketing Kit (in collaboration with Donor Perfect) and as President of A Direct Solution serves non-profit organizations with their fundraising and direct marketing needs with a focus on Monthly Giving, Direct mail/Email appeals and Grant writing.
Erica Waasdorp has helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supporting organizations with annual appeal planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution. She has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
She writes regular guest blogs and regularly presents webinars on monthly giving and she is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving the retention rates for your donors. You can reach her firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (508) 776-1224