How to Create a Smooth Monthly Giving ‘Drive’
I still come across many organizations that are actively trying to grow their monthly giving program, but they’re not sure who’s “running the show.”
Nobody feels responsible. People wait till someone comes up with the next idea. Some think they only need to be focused on one aspect of monthly giving. Nobody is taking control of the whole process.
Until those self-driving cars become a reality, just like with a car, you must have a driver. And there can only be one driver. But as the driver, you can delegate the navigation to someone else. You can assign someone in the back seat to find the next restaurant during your trip. You take your car to a mechanic. You have regular oil changes. You find those experts who can help you run your car more smoothly than it is running now. And you find those people on your team who can help you get to your destination sooner.
Your monthly giving program is no different. Your organization may not quite be so big that you have a lot of people on your team. You may outsource some of the processes aimed at acquiring, retaining or upgrading your monthly gifts. You may even work with volunteers for some parts. Bigger organizations may be more spread out and have more players in the mix.
But ultimately, someone must be in charge. That’s the person who’s pulling it all together. The driver.
Those organizations that are most successfully growing their monthly donor program have a clearly assigned driver in place. The driver builds the team and knows who needs to be on that team.
Who should be on your monthly giving team or at least be regularly involved? Make sure that you choose those who can make decisions or get decisions finalized very soon.
- Someone from finance or accounting
- Someone from marketing/communications
- Someone from systems/IT
- Someone from donor services
- Someone from data-entry, in charge of the database
- Someone who updates your website
- Someone who answers the phones
- Someone who sends your emails
- Someone who does your social media
- Your agency or consultant, direct mail, digital, telephone, face to face and other fundraising.
So, if you’re not sure who is driving the monthly donor car, make sure you assign someone, soon!
I’ve seen too many organizations struggle moving their monthly donors to the next stage (or worse, see shrinking programs) because they didn’t have that driver in place.
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.