Fundraising 101: 10 Things You Need to Know About Creating a Monthly Giving Program
Accompanying this simple explanatory text is a fantastic photo of a gorilla eating a head of lettuce. Doesn’t that say it all?
4. Break it down. “For just 80 cents a day” or “for less than a dollar a day …” We’ve all seen the commercials for child-sponsorship agencies, and having worked for one, I can assure you that the concept works. One gentleman took the statement so literally that he used the Web site to contribute a single dollar nearly every day. Take the tangible case you’ve made for monthly giving, and do some math. Can you break it down to a daily or weekly amount that is less than the price of a latte?
5. Consider giving donors time off for good behavior. In the analysis work Amergent has done for nonprofit organizations, we have found that while donors may commit to a 12-month program, they tend to end up one or two donations shy of that. Why not create options that accommodate this behavior? Many food banks have the perfect opportunity to do just this, as kids in federal lunch programs end up going hungry on the weekends. So, on Fridays throughout the school year, food banks load up kids’ backpacks with ready-to-eat meals. Monthly donors could support this program September through June, taking July and August off.
6. Make them feel like partners. Monthly donors need to be treated differently, but that doesn’t mean excluding them from everything else. Send them a different version of your e-mail newsletter that speaks to their ongoing commitment. Thank them frequently using stories that demonstrate the impact of their giving. Think of them first if you have giveaways for an event or raffle.
Create a communication stream that makes them champions of your mission. DO NOT leave them out of the mail. They might already give to you monthly, but that doesn’t mean they’re unwilling or unable to respond to special appeals: “Because you are one of our most loyal supporters, we wanted to tell you about this opportunity first …”