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.

Sami Sheehan, manager of donor engagement at Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester, was gracious enough to spend an hour on the phone with me to tell me about her journey to growing the organization's program to 1,000 monthly donors.

Rick Weiss, who owns Insty-Prints, is taking a different tack this year for his annual search for groups deserving of help. He has made annual donations to local organizations for the past 11 years.

Using Facebook and LinkedIn, he launched "a $1,000 Nonprofit Challenge" last week, asking people whose lives have been touched by a local non-profit to share their stories.

His plan is to have people vote for their favorites and then award the top vote getter $1,000 worth of marketing and graphics services. The second and third place winners also receive donated services.

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