How Do You Get Your Board on Board With Monthly Giving?
Someone from a nonprofit recently asked me to address one of its organization’s biggest challenges with monthly giving: How to get its board on board with monthly giving.
I’m baffled that board members still need to be convinced that monthly giving is a thing, and that monthly giving is a great way to provide ongoing sustainable revenue for the organization.
Frankly, if they’re not on board with monthly giving, maybe they should not be on your nonprofit’s board. Many board members are business folks.
What is not to like about the opportunity to get money in the door that you can plan on, that will keep your organization’s lights on and your mission going?
What’s not to like about the fact that monthly donors give more and keep giving much longer than one-time donors?
What’s not to like about the increased donor retention rate — double that of other donors?
What’s not to like about the fact that monthly donors are six times more likely to leave you in their will?
Gone are the days that monthly giving was expensive. Gone are the days that monthly giving was complicated. Believe me, I know!
Now, you have the tools in place.
- You have a website.
- You have an email program.
- You have a donor base CRM.
- You have a payment processor that can handle recurring gifts.
- You send emails.
- You do social media.
- You send appeals.
- You have stories.
The one thing missing: the mindset that you want to generate monthly donors because it’s the right thing to do.
It’s the right thing for your donors who want to help but may not be able to write bigger checks (especially not now) and for your donors who want to spread out their giving over the year.
And it’s the right thing for you, as the organization, that can plan better because you know the money will come in.
All you have to do is start asking donors to consider a monthly gift. It does not even take a lot of time or heavy lifting. You can add a button to every email. You can add a button to every email newsletter. Then step it up and do some more. You can add some special emails. You can add special appeals. You can add sustainer drives with all media and messaging.
You have the tools. You have the messaging and the channels to reach your donors. All you need now is the right mindset and the focus to go after these wonderful little gems in your database who are willing to help you on an ongoing basis.
If your board is not interested in generating sustainable revenue for your organization, ask them “Why?”
Oh, by the way, if you have board members who cannot write the big checks themselves, ask them to consider a monthly gift. Even $85 a month is $1,000 a year! What a great way to get involved.
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.