How to Best Market Monthly Programs to Donors
I just came back from presenting a workshop on monthly donors to a group of nonprofits in Michigan. One of the questions asked was the one on how to best market monthly donor programs to existing donors, especially for small organizations with limited funds and limited time.
If you asked me this question four years ago, I would have answered, “Yikes! That’s a tough proposition.”
But now, it’s so much easier.
Yes, it will absolutely take some time, but the financial investment is much less considerable. Because in 99.5 percent of the cases, you already have your online donation options sitting on your website.
If you look at the “2017 M&R Benchmarks Study”, you’ll see that online monthly giving has grown by 23 percent—16 percent of online revenue is now coming from monthly donors.
The absolute least resource intensive and least invasive is first to add the give monthly option to your one time donation page, second create a monthly giving only page and then use email, facebook, video and google ads to get donors to go there.
Start by making your recurring giving page easy to find. If you can do a pull-down menu from the home page, add a “Monthly Giving” page and a “Donate Now” page that links to a one-time donation page where you’ve added the monthly option).
The more you ask, the more you share, the more you can focus on giving monthly, the quicker you will grow. But do yourself a favor and start with people who are the hottest prospects:
Yourself, your staff, board, volunteers.
Asking them will also help with your internal communication and promotion of the program. Then ask some of them to give you a testimonial and use that on your site and in every approach that you can now expand to your donors.
All it requires is a little focused time to create some of these pieces. So, how about creating your own #MonthlyDonorMonday and devote one or two hours every Monday for the next few weeks. That should do the trick.
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.