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By Erica Waasdorp | President: A Direct Solution

Adding monthly giving to your annual fundraising plan is the most important–and best decision you’ll ever make.

Two decades ago, it would have been a costly one. Today, with online giving pages, , email marketing, and social media, giving is easy and , adding monthly giving is a ‘no brainer’.

Adding monthly giving starts with the right mindset

Monthly giving is a good thing for EVERYONE

It’s good for your donors.. 

  • It’s easy and convenient.
  • It’s affordable. They’re still investing in your mission, and they’re setting an amount that’s ‘do-able’.
  • They can show their loyalty to your organization.  What’s more, they and can be

 It’s good for your organization! 

  • You’ll increase your donor retention., from 45% on average to  as high as 90%!
  • You’ll raise more money. They’ll be giving more often and over the long term.
  • They’re worth more. On average, they give 3 to  5 times the amount of single gift donors.
  • You can count on the income.  You know you’ll have funds you can count on so it will help you in your program planning.
  • The average monthly gift size can be larger.   Some organizations are seeing even more than that, sometimes as high as between $36 to even $50 a month.

It’s important to realize that monthly giving is not a one-shot deal though. If you want to be successful and really grow your number of monthly donors, you must add it to your fundraising plan wherever you possibly can.

How can any size organization include monthly giving in their fundraising plan right away?

You can do it right away. But keep it simple, I know you’re busy.   I also know that resources are at a premium, so here are just 5 things you can do right away:Remember I talked about the monthly giving mindset.  Now that you KNOW that it’s good for everyone, you’re gung-ho about growing your program. how about setting aside one hour a week? Can you do that?

You can implement so many things that take just a few minutes to create. The first thing is always the hardest but then you’ll be golden, and you can build on it from there.

1

Look at your online donation page

Does it have a recurring payment option ? What does it say? What information is required for the donor to provide? Which recurring options are ticked? To keep your life simple, I recommend  offering only monthly payments. If a donor calls you and wants to do quarterly or yearly, you can set that up for them, but the more choices you offer, the less likely donors are going to tick it. The choice should be once or monthly.

2

Create a Recurring Only page (if you haven’t already)

You’ll need it when you start linking in emails and from the home page. Again, I recommend keeping your life simple and offering monthly only.
If you can offer credit card and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)/ACH/Direct Debit/eChecking, do so.

3

Create--and test--your thank you messaging now

This means your thank you landing pages, your thank you emails and your thank you letter.

Don’t worry too much about offering special ways to recognize them. A name for the program is great, but not essential yet at this stage. The key is the donors want to give monthly.

By the way, this is a change from some of the ‘older’ monthly donor programs where the name came first.  The subscription world has changed that. Now, the key is to get the donor to commit to giving monthly first. aThe recognition, like belonging to a named club, comes second.

You can recognize them in ‘surprising’ ways later.  Surprising is the operative word. Do yourself a favor and keep any ‘monthly donor promises’ doable and affordable. DO tell them they will receive monthly email receipts (depending upon your payment processor), and that you’ll stay in touch with updates and possibly special invites. Keep it vague but still promising value..

4

Create your benchmarks

Download your monthly donor goal setting tool, plug in your numbers and compare where you are now? And be sure to annualize your results (the tool will do this for you).

Here’s a link to mine: A Direct Solution Goal Setting Tool

For example, if you have 20 monthly donors at $24 a month, that’s a starting point of $5,760 a year.  What would you like your goal to be next in numbers and dollars?

5

Evaluate your current overall fundraising plan

What does it consist of?

  • How many donors?
  • How many email names?
  • Do you have a print newsletter? An online newsletter?
  • How many direct mail appeals are you sending a year?
  • How many email appeals are you sending a year?
  • Do you have a welcome email series in place for new donors and people who subscribe to your email newsletter?
  • Do you call your donors?
  • Do you send a thank you letter, and does it include a soft ask for an extra gift?

Then add just one thing to each channel. Put it in your plan and make sure to do it.

Add a monthly giving button or a message about monthly giving in the P.S. of your email. Add a monthly giving tick box to an appeal reply form.

See what happens. Then repeat what you just did.  Do more of it. Grow.

Every fundraising plan is custom made, totally based upon your organization.  and the same goes with incorporating your monthly giving into your overall fundraising plan.

These days, adding monthly giving options doesn’t cost much. Just a little bit of time and a little bit of persistence. The more you keep at it, the more monthly donors you’ll generate, the more sustainable revenue you’ll generate to support your programs and serve your mission.

Join me on January 21st at 1:00pm EST to learn more  Register here.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Erica Waasdorp | President: A Direct Solution.

Erica Waasdorp is President of A Direct Solution, located on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Erica lives and breathes direct response and fundraising and can be considered a Philanthropyholic.
She works with non-profit clients all over the country helping them with their appeals and monthly giving.
Erica Waasdorp published one of the very few books on monthly giving, called Monthly Giving. The Sleeping Giant. She created the Monthly Donor Road Map and multiple e-books, such as Top 7 Questions about Monthly Giving, Monthly Donor Retention Play-Book and more. She regularly blogs and presents in person and via webinars on appeals, direct mail and monthly giving.
Erica is a Master Trainer for the Association of Fundraising Professionals and she is currently working on her next book On the Road to Monthly Donor Success in One Hour or Less!
For more information, contact Erica at erica@adirectsolution.com or see www.adirectsolution.com

MasterMinds Flash Class Series – How to Incorporate Monthly Giving in your Annual Fundraising Plan