Why Every Nonprofit Needs a Monthly Giving Program: 5 Steps for Getting Started

By February 22, 2019Fundraising
Recurring Donations Monthly Giving Eleo Blog

In the world of nonprofit fundraising, you have heavy downpours and you have steady, light rain. The annual galas and end-of-year campaigns are the downpours, as they bring in the singular, large contributions from major donors. The light rains are the steady, consistent, albeit smaller donations, overtime.

Monthly giving provides income stability and predictability. It helps to insulate you from large gifts that don’t materialize. Reliable, recurring income in smaller amounts makes you less dependent on big events and campaigns to fund your organization. In fact, because of its dependability, monthly giving then allows you to spend more time soliciting big donors.

Further, steady, light rain can eventually turn into a large pool of money. According to Top Nonprofits, recurring donors can be up to four times more valuable than one-time donors, and retention rates are more than 85 percent.

From the donor’s perspective, they might not be able to cut you a check for $120, but they can manage a $10 recurring gift each month. Monthly giving makes smaller donors feel like they’re doing something positive, consistently. What’s more – Monthly giving can also create new fundraising opportunities. Young donors and millennials rely on monthly subscriptions in their day to day operations. Your recurring gifts program, gives them an opportunity to ‘set it and forget it’. Take advantage of the simplicity of autopay. Make giving automatic.

The benefits of monthly giving are clear, but a monthly giving program doesn’t just happen on its own. You need a strategy for developing the program.

Here are 5 tips to help you get started on creating a monthly giving program


1) Get Buy-In from the Board and Staff

The giving itself might be on autopilot, but the program needs to be created and maintained. From technical considerations for monthly payments to ongoing donor communications, you’ll need to allocate resources to get a monthly program off the ground and make it work. Your staff should be an integral part of the program and leadership needs to be on board.

2) State Your Case
Donors want to know where their money is going and the impact it will have. We’ve all seen the TV commercials that say “for 50 cents a day, you can…”. What does a specific amount of money mean for your cause? Break down the numbers. Show the impact in photos and videos. Craft a message that makes an emotional connection.

3) Give Donors Options
Maybe a donor can commit to $10 per month but not $20. That’s fine. Offer those donors multiple giving levels. Do not force a specific price point, let your supporters choose their monthly contribution. On the other hand, some donors might be capable of giving more than they originally planned. Ask for an upgrade on a regular basis and let donors know how much the larger gift makes a difference.

4) Continue to Engage
When donors are automatically giving each month and the gifts are relatively small, it’s easy to take them for granted. Don’t.

Donors who participate in your monthly giving program are important. They’re the steady, light rain that provides your nonprofit with stability. Thank them. Ask for their feedback. Call and email them. Show them you appreciate their support.

5) Segment Donors
Use your online donor management software to segment donors based on gift size, payment regularity, event participation, social media engagement, etc. Analyze this data. Use the information to understand what works for your month givers. Shift your strategies and goals to fit their needs.

Eleo Donor Management Software’s web forms support recurring gifts, which means a donor can set up an automated, recurring donation of any amount through an Eleo web form. Contact us to learn how Eleo can help you launch and manage a successful monthly giving program.

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