Recurring (Gifts) Dream
Some of you may know that I'm passionate about monthly giving. While I got the "bug" for direct mail working at Reader's Digest, Amsterdam, I later got the bug for monthly giving at the International Fund for Animal Welfare in Yarmouth Port, Mass.
There I saw firsthand how successful monthly giving is in Europe, Australia and Canada. However, here in the U.S., although major gifts, events and direct mail have become very common, monthly giving programs still lag behind.
The good news is we are starting to catch up with other parts of the world, with more and more organizations beginning to explore monthly giving. In my current work as a consultant, I am fortunate to work with several U.S. organizations that have successfully implemented monthly giving programs. I'm proud to say that one of my clients currently has 20 percent of its zero- to 12-month donor file on monthly giving, representing half of the organization's overall annual revenue. This organization offers all three giving options, with 40 percent through monthly envelope reminders and 60 percent automatically through electronic funds transfer (EFT) or credit cards.
At the recent DMA Nonprofit Federation Conference in Washington, D.C., I was pleased to moderate a panel on the keys to monthly giving success. Many readers may have read a short synopsis of this session in earlier editions of FundRaising Success' online newsletter Today in Fundraising ("27 Keys to Monthly Giving Success (part 1)," part 2, part 3 and part 4).
To recap, when it comes to monthly giving, each organization is different. Some organizations may already have a program in place but want to grow it. Others may just be in the beginning stages. What works for one may not necessarily work for all. But, whichever stage you're in, a well-defined and implemented monthly giving program can work for all.
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. 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 authored "Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant" and "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 a cat, Mientje.