Monthly Giving. Make it work for your nonprofit

in Monthly Giving

Over the past couple weeks numerous great tips, keys, and ideas on how to make a monthly giving program work for any nonprofit have been published in FundraisingSuccess.

Joe Boland wrote the 4-part article series based on a presentation at the DMANF Conference in Washington D.C. on March 1st.

I bet you already know the prime reasons it’s beneficial for your charity to have a sustained giving program. Reasons such as . . .

A steady and predictable source of baseline revenue; great for budget stability

An easily segmented file group with some of your most loyal supporters

They can often be your best source for donor feedback, emergency support, and other special needs.

But don’t tax them too much. Your sustainers have a high lifetime donor value that you don’t want to lose by dipping into the well too often for gifts outside of their automatic ones.

Boland shared “27 Keys to Monthly Giving Program Success” from the conference. I’ve listed ten of my favorites here:

#1 – Follow Nike’s slogan and “Just Do It.” Regardless of your charity’s size, start a program. It might start small and build up slowly, but over time it’s worth lots of revenue.

#4 – You might begin by trying to convert donors who gave via credit card (even if they only gave once). If they’re already agreeable to paying by credit card, monthly giving is an easier sell.

#6 – Convert reminders to automatic gifts. If you offer monthly mail reminders, try converting them to auto giving via bank or credit card. “Buckslips with potential savings highlighted can generate 2 percent to 3 percent conversion every month. If you keep this month-after-month, you really grow the auto givers in your monthly giving program.”

#7 – Welcome them to convenient giving at the beginning. Include a monthly giving ask in your welcome series (email and direct mail).

#10 – Remember, the nonprofit with the best data wins. Therefore, code sustainers in your database. And code it carefully with all the “… if/then scenarios, exceptions, etc.”

#11 – Recognize and cultivate monthly donors. Don’t take them for granted.

#17 – Telemarketing can work quite well for acquiring monthly donors. Response is often 5-times higher than for direct mail. Oh, and #18 recommends using the phone to upgrade donors to sustainers.

#21 and #22 – Ideas on what to test. And although I didn’t see this in the list, I suggest you test giving donors the choice on how frequently they want to give: Monthly, quarterly, twice or once a year. At least ask if this would make a difference to any of them on whether they joined your sustainer program or not. I know of a nonprofit who has done well by offering these options.

Don’t miss out on the other seventeen keys. Read the FundraisingSuccess articles for all 27 insights into a successful monthly giving program for your nonprofit.

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