A Monthly Giving How-To: Ask Why
Let’s face it: Just because you, as a fundraiser, send emails and/or letters to a donor, asking them to give monthly, it may not work right away. It might require several calls and emails. It may require some additional ammunition.
If you have at least one monthly donor, you have that ammunition. You have at least one donor who can tell you why they are giving monthly. And you probably have several more. Start there.
Ask your current monthly donors why they are giving monthly. Then use their message to share with potential monthly donors. Get their testimonial. Use it in your email and e-newsletters. Get it on video through whatever video application you’re using right now to connect with donors. Use it on your website. Use it in your print newsletter. Use it wherever you think it fits best, but by golly, use it.
Why? Because donors love hearing from other donors. It may just be that little extra nudge they need to say: “Yes, I feel that way, too. I’m going to start giving monthly because I love this organization and its mission, and I want to help!“
Here are ways you can get your monthly donors to share why they’re supporting your organization:
- Call the donor to thank them for their ongoing support. Ask why they give monthly. If they give you a quote or testimonial, ask if it’s OK to use it… with or without their name. Make sure you confirm that via email and preferably with a little thank-you note.
- Send an email to your existing monthly donors thanking them for their ongoing support, and ask them what they like about giving monthly. Again, confirm that you have permission to use it.
- Send a personal thank-you note with a reply card allowing the donor to share why they like giving monthly. Don’t forget the reply envelope, and make sure you ask for their permission to use it.
It takes a bit of time and not a lot of money. But it accomplishes three things:
- Your monthly donors feel appreciated and special, perhaps even honored, because you asked them for their opinion/feedback.
- You’ll be able to get great testimonials quickly, which you can then use to reach out to other donors.
- You’ll generate more monthly donors.
Sounds like another win-win to me.
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.