Recurring (Gifts) Dream
While direct-response TV and face-to-face (street fundraising) have made huge impacts for some larger organizations (for example, child-sponsorship organizations, ASPCA and Greenpeace), most organizations lack the funds to invest in those media. Therefore, this piece focuses on ways to use online and direct mail to start and grow a monthly giving program. Add telemarketing to the mix (if you can), and you have a truly winning combination! So, let's get started.
Just do it!
As with anything, if you ask donors, they will come. Let's look at a simple calculation: Say an organization can have 100 donors join for $10 a month (that's $120 in 12 months). Through a credit card recurring option online, that's $12,000 a year. If they continue, which is very likely, that's $24,000 after two years and so on.
If your organization does not have a program in place yet, offering monthly giving online is very simple. Just offering the option on your homepage and the donation page is half the battle. The recurring-giving option is typically one of many payment options, such as PayPal, for many credit card merchants, so it is very easy to go ahead and use it. One thing to remember: Be sure to craft a thank-you e-mail, code the donor as an online monthly giver in your organization's database and update the monthly gifts in your records.
As many of us know, management sometimes needs to be convinced that monthly giving is a good investment. By developing an online monthly giving program, fundraising professionals can show some initial success at virtually no cost — and then build upon it. Those organizations that understand the tremendous impact of monthly giving on the bottom line, as well as realize that it is just as much a long-term investment as acquisition, are becoming extremely successful.
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 email@example.com or by phone at (508) 776-1224.