Spoiler alert: It’s not by doing more social media. It’s not by running more events. It’s by focusing on asking your donors to upgrade, to make monthly gifts and leave gifts through their will.
With monthly giving, it’s all about consistency. It’s about a continued and committed focus. It’s about finding ways to build in a monthly giving ask wherever you possibly can. If you’re sending appeals in the mail and you’ve not already done so, consider adding a simple tick box to your appeal.
Next time you send a survey to your monthly donors, ask them why they’re giving monthly. Collect the answers and put it into a word cloud yourself. It’s a tremendous visual way to see what’s important to your donors. You can put it on your bulletin board, and you could even put it in other communications.
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At the recent sustainer workshop, we asked people present about their biggest monthly gift challenges. You see that staff is a big challenge, along with prioritizing sustainers over donors and getting new monthly donors (acquisition).
In this day and age, where so much is automated and computerized, it’s good to know that we’re also human beings who, every now and then, just want to know that other people care. So think about this the next time you decide what it takes to better steward and recognize your donors.
This question also came up at the recent sustainer workshop, and I know it’s something people struggle with, especially when you talk with your treasurers or finance folks. Monthly gifts are different from the major gift pledges most organizations are used to.
At the recent Bridge pre-conference sustainer workshop I co-hosted, one of the attendees asked this question: “What is a realistic goal for monthly donor percentage as a percent of active donors?” Let me explain why there’s no one good answer to this.