A Monthly Giving How-To: Take the Next Step
Seth Godin’s blog always gives me inspiration. Recently, he wrote about the words I hear so much when it comes to monthly giving: “That’s a great idea!”
Seth says: “…after every good idea, there are at least 100 steps of iteration, learning, adjustment, innovation and effort. But not committing to the 100 steps is a waste of a good idea. The effort and investment and evolution made the difference.”
In my experience working with nonprofits, helping them develop their monthly giving programs, it’s often the first step that’s the hardest. It’s not surprising to hear crickets after someone says: “That’s a great idea!”
My monthly donor roadmap consists of 18 steps. Start with step one: Take charge. Be willing to be the driver and the executor of this great idea.
I can share so many success stories of organizations that have taken that first important step, and then the next after that, and so on. These organizations have successfully generated more monthly donors and because they see the success, they keep taking those next steps.
Will some things work better than others? Absolutely! Will you make mistakes? Yes, of course. But you will learn from it, and you keep taking more steps.
Just think about it this way: Just because you fall down when you are learning to walk, it doesn’t make you stop walking, right?
So keep taking those next steps, and you’ll find that your commitment to the great idea of starting and growing your monthly donor program may be the best thing you ever did.
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.