Many Little Steps Make Monthly Donor Progress
A few days ago, I received this wonderful email from an organization in Alaska. “Erica—we are up to 35 monthly donors, with an annualized income of $10,500!”
It always makes me happy to hear from organizations that keep chipping away at their program. Every email, phone call, appeal, social post, event invite, face to face ask. One little step at a time.
If you’ve been raising funds for a while, you already know that there are no short cuts. It absolutely takes hard work. It takes planning, preparation and consistency. And yes, you have to do it all. Bring in new donors. Upgrade your donors to higher levels. Reactivate lapsed donors. Lots of channels and approaches. Too much to juggle sometimes.
Fortunately, in the past few years, so much has changed with new opportunities to put monthly giving in the mix, but still, it is often met by resistance and questions like: “Why should we focus on small givers? Don’t you have something better to do?”
The above client quote says it all. It does pay off, because small givers can give a lot of money and make a difference to your organization. Yes, focusing on monthly giving means “change.”
It made me think of a recent Seth Godin quote: “Every change was fought, tooth (!) and nail. Every one had critics and skeptics and holdouts. That’s how the world changes. By drips. Persistent, generous, tiny drips. Bit by bit. Involving thousands of people and organizations. Improvements large and small (mostly small), in every corner.”
Monthly giving especially is truly a step-by-step or better yet, drip by drip approach, but if you and the donors are in it for the long haul, you’ll be able to accomplish real change!
I’m not asking you to get away from your year-end approaches, but come January, let’s see what a little drip-by-drip approach can do for YOUR monthly donor program!
By the way, in case you were wondering, the Alaska organization later sent me a note that fortunately the earthquake had not done too much damage in their area, so all good news!
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.