Monthly Giving: Begin Where You're At!
What's the one thing that your organization can do to truly connect with your donors on a deeper level, lead to greater bequest giving and grow your sustainable income — all at the same time? If you guessed monthly giving, you're right!
But in a recent LinkedIn survey that I conducted, a full 31 percent of those responding noted that their organizations did not offer monthly giving. Twenty-nine percent indicated that, yes, their organizations have monthly sustainer programs, but very few participate. And only 22 percent of respondents indicated that they enjoyed the benefits of a robust monthly giving program.
And yet, a monthly giving program is relatively easy to implement (and grow)!
Here's all you need to get started:
1. The capability to offer electronic funds transfer (EFT) and/or credit card payments. One organization that I spoke with offers its monthly giving program solely via direct mail and a sign-up form provided by the bank. If your organization isn't set up to accept recurring credit card donations, the beauty of EFT is that the retention rate tends to be higher than other methods because there are no expired credit cards.
2. A "product" to offer your donors. What does their $10 or $20 a month buy? Feeding America notes that "every $1 of your monthly gift will help to provide $9 worth of food through [our] network of food banks."
UNICEF gives a compelling reason for donors to give monthly: "Monthly giving provides a steady and cost-effective source of income to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. And because your monthly donation is processed automatically, you help us reduce our costs — which allows us to fund more programs and help more children." The organization also lets donors know that "$15 a month (50¢ per day) can provide 12 packets of high energy biscuits specially developed for malnourished children."
Pamela Grow is the publisher of The Grow Report, the author of Simple Development Systems and the founder of Simple Development Systems: The Membership Program and Basics & More fundraising fundamentals e-courses. She has been helping small nonprofits raise dramatically more money for over 15 years, and was named one of the 50 Most Influential Fundraisers by Civil Society magazine, and one of the 40 Most Effective Fundraising Consultants by The Michael Chatman Giving Show.