Erica Waasdorp

Erica Waasdorp

Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is author of the book “Monthly Giving. The Sleeping Giant.” She is the president of A Direct Solution, a company serving nonprofit organizations with fundraising and direct marketing needs, with a focus on monthly giving and appeals.

She just co-authored the “Monthly Giving Starter and Marketing Kit” with Donor Perfect, and she’s working on her next book called “Monthly Giving Made Easy.” She regularly blogs and presents on fundraising, appeals and monthly giving—in person and through webinars. She is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving retention rates for your donors.

Erica has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supports organizations with annual fund planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution.

When she’s not working or writing, Erica can be found on the golf course (she’s a straight shooter) or quietly reading a book. And if there’s an event with a live band, she and her husband, Patrick, can be found on the dance floor. She also loves watching British drama on PBS. Erica and Patrick have two step sons and cat, Mientje.

You can reach Erica at erica@adirectsolution.com or by phone at (508) 776-1224.

Gobble, Gobble: Grateful for Sustainers

I’m one of those people who refuses to go shopping on Black Friday. Instead, that’s the day I sit behind my computer and make donations to the organizations I care about. I’ll make single gifts to most and new monthly gifts to some. The good news is that the list is growing!...

Nothing Is Impossible If You Just Believe

Every year, the military base theater near us (Joint Base Cape Cod) organizes the annual Christmas tree lighting. It’s a fun event, with hot cocoa, peppermint sticks and a short visit of Santa, of course! As a military spouse myself (married to a 32-year Airforce veteran), we love our little theater, and this event is…

Warning: Minimal Stress Involved

Yes, it’s true! Prime giving season is here. Everybody is on high alert. Printers are buzzing. Letter shops are stuffing appeals in overtime. Email drafts for #GivingTuesday and December are flying left and right...

Asking for Sustainers for Gifts on Giving Days

November is almost here. Many of you are probably working on your #GivingTuesday campaigns, or you may have other giving days you’re focused on. And of course everybody is on board with sending out several emails in the month of December...

It's Time to Call Your Organization

I just came back from the International Fundraising Congress, which was held last week in Noordwijkerhout, Netherlands. It’s always a great time to visit my family who live near the German and Belgian border in the south. I was able to attend a great session on donor love with Jen Love of Agents of Good and Simon Scriver. I’d heard of them, but now I actually got to meet them—pretty neat!...

Why Don’t You Start Asking Monthly Donors for Bequests?

Never think that monthly donors are too small to ask about bequest gifts. The fact that they give for multiple years and give multiple gifts is a much better indicator than anything else. So, if you need to decide whom to include in your next bequest mailing and your email message, go ahead and include your small monthly donors...

What’s Your Techie’s Answer When It Comes to Monthly Donors?

Let me share this story with you. When I worked at a big animal welfare organization with a huge donor base, we had several wonderful people in our “systems support/technology/IT” department. As manager of monthly giving, I had to have regular meetings with these great “techies...

Should You Use a ‘Tchotchke’ for Monthly Giving?

This is an interesting question. The first answer is that this depends very much on what you’re currently using in your appeals and messaging. The second answer is that you will never know until you test it. If your donors are used to receiving something “in exchange for a donation,” using a tchotchke or premium as a “thank you” for joining a monthly giving program may be the way to go...

How Will You Engage Your Monthly Donors This Fall?

This question comes up regularly, but especially now, as nonprofits are starting to prepare their fall and year-end appeals. Should you or should you not ask your monthly donors for money? The answer is a resounding yes...

What Really Motivates Donors to Give Monthly?

I’m so excited! I just received “The 2017 Burk Donor Survey Report,” and this year’s study has a huge section on sustainers—comparing this year’s donors’ answers to ones from 2012, when they last had this major focus on monthly gifts...

Using Other Sustainers to Invite New Monthly Donors

We know that video gives a major boost to open and click-through rates online. So, why not use it to your advantage and invite other donors to join your monthly donor program? Look at your current monthly donors—even if you have just five of them...

Can Transactional Donors Become Monthly Donors?

First of all, let me add my thoughts and prayers to those who lost their home and everything else after Hurricane Harvey. And I know we’re not out of the woods yet, with other storms coming near. Fortunately, there are many wonderful experienced organizations on the ground to help the victims. And, of course, fundraising activities have ramped up. People are literally walking in the door with donations...

It’s Not Too Late: Get Ready for Monthly Donor Month

There’s never a bad time to convert your constituents to give monthly, but there are two months a year that typically fit better in your overall communication plan: January and September. “Why September?” you may ask. Because, it’s typically slower with events. Donors are back home, back to school, back to work and in their “routine.” It’s not yet busy with Thanksgiving and holiday preparations…

Have No Fear! Monthly Giving Help Is Near

Over the past few months, I hope I showed you how monthly giving has become so much easier for nonprofits to organize and then actually start. That’s because so many payment processors and donor bases now have built-in tools to create giving pages, add the recurring/monthly option and capture new monthly donors without a lot of jumping through hoops...

Let’s Say ‘No’ to Automatic Sustainer Upgrades

At the recent Bridge Conference, I enjoyed several wonderful sustainer sessions. During one of those, someone asked about the automatic sustainer upgrade process some nonprofits are apparently using. My hair immediately started standing up straight! What happened to being donor-centric?...