Do Monthly Donors Come Easier to Local or National Organizations?
Whenever I do a webinar on monthly donors, I am always happy to follow up to provide answers to questions that may have gone unanswered during the short time we were “webinaring” together.
One of the questions that came up was: Is generating monthly donors more difficult for a local nonprofit, compared to a larger national organization?
The best answer is: You will not know until you try!
While large national organizations typically have bigger budgets for fundraising and larger numbers of donors and emails to begin with, that does not necessarily mean that they’re more successful than local organizations.
In fact, local organizations have several advantages:
- You can organize local recognition events for your (monthly) donors.
- You probably already have much higher name recognition in your community.
- You can use donors, board or community members for testimonials about giving monthly, which will make it even more powerful than a national donor or board member nobody knows.
- You can show your local community how monthly gifts are making an impact to your clients, patients, kids, animals you serve, and that’s oh-so powerful.
- You have may be able to use local cable access and local radio stations to promote the program, which is a great way to get the word out. Many local cable access stations will help you create a PSA video or message that you can then use for your website and in your emails to reach out to prospective monthly donors.
Now, if your donor base is small, you will not be able to generate as many new monthly donors as the typical big national organization, but it will still be extremely powerful.
And if you read the “2016 Individual Donor Benchmarking Study,” you’ll see that the number of recurring donors is up from 9 percent to 11 percent of organizations that are raising less than $2 million. And the average annual value per monthly is $736. You’ll find that this amount is higher for local organizations and much lower for big national organizations. Also, while the overall number of monthly donors is relatively small, they will start making an impact very soon.
Here is an example of a local organization that started using its monthly donations from its giving circle members to make changes in their community, and they report on it every year.
What a great way for monthly donors to see their gifts in action!
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is author of the book "Monthly Giving. The Sleeping Giant." 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 just co-authored the "Monthly Giving Starter and Marketing Kit" with Donor Perfect, and she’s working on her next book called "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 cat, Mientje.
You can reach Erica at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (508) 776-1224.