It’s Time to Grow Your Monthly Donor Program
Growing a monthly donor program is a drip-by-drip, bit-by-bit approach. That’s why January is such a great month to go for it. But there are two important things to bear in mind.
First, I recommend creating a monthly-only page. When you’re trying to drive donors to give monthly, it must be very easy to find and very clear what you’re asking donors to do. If the only option is to give monthly, it must be very clear to the donor what will happen when he or she hits the “Give Monthly” button.
Second, if you’d rather try directing people to your typical donation page, I recommend not pre-populating or pre-selecting the monthly giving option. This may sound counter-intuitive, but there’s a good reason for it.
Monthly giving is a commitment, and the more the donor realizes that’s what they’re doing, the better off you are in the long run.
If the monthly gift option on the one-time donation page is pre-populated, you’ll run the risk of creating angry donors and bad donor experiences. The last thing you want to happen is the donor realizing that they accidentally gave monthly and now they have to call you to cancel it—not Ideal.
Asking for monthly gifts means walking that fine line between providing the monthly opportunity wherever you can, making it easy for the donor to find, while asking the donor to really say: “Yes! I’m going to commit to a monthly gift.”
While you want to get as many new monthly donors you possibly can, you also want them to stay, right?
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.