Quick Tips to Encourage Nonprofit Monthly Donations

Quick Tips to Encourage Monthly DonationsA monthly or recurring giving program can be a fantastic opportunity to retain donors, increase their annual total giving, and deepen the donor’s relationship withyour important nonprofit cause. Monthly contributions can help ensure a steady stream of donations and can provide prospects for other giving opportunities.

Offering various donation opportunities for your donor base to choose from can assist staff members in growing the nonprofit organization’s impact. Consider adding a monthly giving program to your fundraising strategies.

Monthly contributions may be right for donors accustomed to a subscription-based society.

Many donors your nonprofit organization works with will already have monthly autopay set up for their bills; adding a recurring donation may feel simple and natural. Promote your monthly giving program as an easy yet impactful way for donors to make a difference for the people, animals, or causes you serve.

Giving smaller, incremental gifts can also be budget-friendly for donors who give from regular income, checking, or savings versus donors who give through a gift of stock or required minimum distributions from their IRA. Knowing who to ask for recurring gifts can be a key to promoting the program.

With the ease of online donations via credit cards, recurring donors can set up a monthly contribution on your donation page. If they select the ongoing option, they can quickly improve retention rates. With the “set it and forget it” option, donors do not need to send a check or even request credit card payments each month; the system does it all for them.

Of course, this doesn’t mean your nonprofit doesn’t need to thank donors for these critical and mission-sustaining gifts. It is vital to find ways to continue to engage these donors. A recurring giving program can be a launch pad for other donations, such as major gifts, capital campaign donations, or even legacy society or planned gifts.

Asking donors to join a monthly or recurring giving program can be a step toward deepening the relationship with your mission.

Why Do Recurring Donors Give?

According to Classy’s 2021 Recurring Donor Sentiment Report, donors give for intrinsic reasons. For example, 56% feel their recurring gift enables them to support the organization continuously. Many recurring givers feel their monthly gift makes more of an impact than a one-time gift.

Others state they feel more connected to the nonprofit when they give recurring gifts. Making donors feel more connected is a wonderful by-product of starting a monthly giving program.

How to Avoid Lapsing Donors in Monthly Giving

Before asking donors to join your monthly giving program, they must consider how they will steward donors within the program and avoid lapsing donors. No nonprofit needs more LYBUNTs (donors who gave last year but unfortunately not this year).

It may sound odd to begin with the end in mind, but donor retention in any giving opportunity should be top of mind for your fundraising staff members and board.

The critical piece of any giving program is ensuring donors feel appreciated and know how their gifts are used. While monthly gifts can be mission-sustaining and may be unrestricted, it is still essential to show impact.

Where to Begin Promoting Monthly Giving?

  1. Donate Page and Online Donation Forms
  2. Donation Forms or Pledge Cards
  3. Email Communications
  4. Add a donation button to e-newsletters

Recurring donations should be an option on the donate page for every gift, appeal, and campaign if your nonprofit can accept recurring donations. Monthly giving should also be included on the pledge form of appeal letters and within e-mail communications.

Consider promoting recurring donations on the signature line in your staff member’s e-mails.

Donation forms should include personalized ask strings or donation amounts unique to every donor. They should also consist of a monthly recurring giving option and a one-time gift option. Offering recurring giving is a way to divide up the suggested donation amount to help raise donors’ sights.

The only exception to this is major donors. For major donors, leave the ask amount blank and let them fill in what they would like to donate.

For help with pledge cards, check out The Ultimate Guide to Fundraising Pledge Cards.

The pledge card can introduce donors to the monthly giving process by providing an ask string or gift amount options with checkboxes for one-time and monthly giving options. For some donors, a monthly donation may be more achievable than a large one-time gift.

AskGenius suggests setting the recurring gift amounts as one-tenth of the one-time amount.

Adding a donation button to e-newsletters and e-mail communications can also be a great way to promote this unique opportunity to prospective donors and create another chance for peer-to-peer fundraising if others share your newsletter.

Who Should We Promote Monthly Giving to?

  1. Existing donors who already give more than once a year
  2. First-time donors who may not yet know about recurring giving
  3. Board Members

Existing donors who already give more than once per year are prime examples of individuals to invite to become monthly donors. They are already conditioned to give more than once a year, and you already know they believe in your mission.

When a donor makes a first-time donation, this is also an opportunity to educate them on recurring gifts and increase their giving. Consider including information on monthly giving or your monthly giving club in the welcome series for first-time donors.

Asking the first-time donor to join recurring giving is an opportunity to deepen their relationship with the nonprofit organization and show them the impact they can have. Showing your donors the impact they make is an essential part of donor management and stewardship.

Board members may also be good candidates for monthly giving, as you already have donor engagement with them, as they are volunteering their time to your cause.

Start a Monthly Giving Program Today

Starting a monthly giving program is a chance for any nonprofit organization to strengthen its relationship with existing donors and improve fundraising success in a sustainable and time-saving way. Recurring gifts can improve the donor retention rate and reduce the LYBUNT rate.

Monthly giving programs may also improve donor acquisition rates, as they provide a communicative giving opportunity with its own unique stewardship opportunities.

Create a solid case statement for monthly giving, add it to the donate page, update the pledge card with recurring gift options, and start promoting today.

As a bonus tip, test your giving page to ensure a smooth donation process and review that all the contact information is necessary. Provide a staff member’s name and phone number for donor phone calls when they need additional help with online gifts.

For help setting customized ask strings for one-time and recurring gifts, check out AskGenius today. And for more insights like this delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for the AskGenius newsletter.

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