Monthly Giving Samples: Blasts From the Past
I never think of myself as a pack rat; but when it comes to fundraising, that’s exactly what I had become. So this past week, I took some time to go through old magazines and boxes of direct mail and, in particular, monthly giving samples.
Sustainer trends and research; extra appeals and sustainer upgrades; thank you letters; stewardship newsletters; sustainer reminders; conversion packages. I still have a few more to scan in, but if you’re looking for ideas or stats, feel free to contact me.
“Trends” articles particularly intrigued me. Those well known in the industry talked about donor retention, monthly giving and silos 15 years ago.
Unfortunately, the silos are still there, but the good news is that donor retention is inching back up. And as you know, monthly giving is growing to now 40 percent of online giving from sustainers.
Here’s a quote I found in Nonprofit PRO three years ago from yours truly:
“My hope and expectations for 2015 will be that virtually every organization, small and large, has a monthly giving program in place and is really focused on growing it. I foresee a further growth of recurring giving through text/mobile giving opportunities. Organizations and donors will finally see that they can support an organization at any level.
The Dutch have an expression: ‘He who does not honor the small is not worthy of the large,” and that holds very true with monthly giving.”
Here we are, in the middle of 2018, and part of this prediction has become reality. Text giving is not so popular in the U.S., but very popular in Europe. Making donations on smart phones though has really taken off and is part of the reason for the increase in online giving, including sustainers.
Online giving providers started embracing recurring donations years ago, making it much easier to find and process than in the past. And nonprofit leadership has (finally) embraced monthly giving as a great way to grow donor retention and provide that sustainable revenue they need.
So, a huge thank you goes out to all those who’ve lead the way. We’ve come this far! Your donors win but the people served by nonprofits win even more!
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.