27 Keys to Monthly Giving Program Success, Part 1 (1-6)
[Editor's note: This is part 1 of a four-part series on the session "25 Proven Monthly Giving Tools & Ideas Packed in 50 Minutes" held at the 2012 Washington Nonprofit Conference.]
A monthly giving program can do wonders for a nonprofit organization's fundraising. Having a stable of dedicated, loyal donors who contribute regularly is a luxury that increases annual and lifetime donor value, lifts fundraising results, and alleviates some of the pressures.
At the Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation's 2012 Washington Nonprofit Conference Thursday, five fundraising pros shared their secrets to implementing and running a monthly giving program in their session, "25 Proven Monthly Giving Tools & Ideas Packed in 50 Minutes." Here are the first six of the 25 — actually, 27 (two bonus tips!) — provided by the presenters: Mary Arnold, president of Mary Arnold Enterprises; David Glass, director of online marketing at World Wildlife Fund; Karen Kennedy Downs, direct marketing manager of monthly giving at CARE USA; Nicole Weidokal, vice president of client services at DCCi; and moderator Erica Waasdorp, senior fundraising consultant at DMW Direct.
1. Just do it
No matter the shape, size or mission of your organization, you should set up a monthly program. Even if it doesn't gain much traction initially, it's a revenue stream that grows and becomes worth a lot over time.
"If you ask, they will come," Waasdorp said. "Even a small number of sustainers will make a difference. Over time, it's worth lots of revenue."
2. Present management with long-term revenue projections
To get buy-in from the top and justify the existence of a monthly giving program, give your leadership numbers and projections, emphasizing the long-term benefits of a monthly sustainer program, Waasdorp said. The executive director and board like to see numbers and statistics, so provide them. Annualized revenue results and telemarketing response look better and compare better with monthly giving against other appeals, especially over time. Show management projections for the long tail.