Monthly Giving and ‘Pretty Woman’
I still come across nonprofits that have virtually no sustainers. Why? Because they weren’t pushed to do it, or they didn’t know that they could do it.
Sadly, some organizations had the bad luck of agencies and consultants not thinking that monthly giving was a “big deal.” Some worried it would take away from their direct mail numbers and revenue.
It made me think of the movie “Pretty Woman.” Do you remember the scene where Julia Roberts needs to go shopping for clothes for her fancy dinner with Richard Gere?
She walks into a store on Rodeo Drive, and the sales ladies totally dismiss her.
Then fast forward to the next day where Julia walks in with her fancy clothes and tells the ladies: “Remember me? You work on commission, right? Big mistake! Big mistake. Huge!”
That could be the feeling you have if you haven’t done anything about growing your sustainer program. That may still be the message you hear from your boss or board. They may still dismiss those little donors that can be so powerful to your organization.
But fear not, it’s not too late. It’s a new year. It’s a new opportunity to stop judging small donors by their “looks.”
I started working with an organization just a few months ago, and the first thing they did was simply add a give monthly button to every email they send. And they’re growing nicely. They’ve really embraced the idea of needing to generate sustainable income by asking donors to consider giving monthly, and we evaluate every week on their progress, annualizing the monthly gift values.
So, how will your 2020 monthly donor fundraising movie script play out for your organization this year?
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.