Monthly Giving: Where Big Money Lives
Simply put, monthly giving is one way to help your retention metrics grow. It’s certainly not the only way you should be trying to retain more donors, but it certainly helps. And, as most organizations have realized by now, monthly giving is not just for the organizations that can tie their mission to a monthly cost or a service provided, etc.
Plus, here is another stat for you—everyone knows digital revenue is increasing year over year—and now we know that, according to industry studies, online monthly giving represents close to 20 percent of digital revenue, and monthly giving digital revenue is growing faster than one-time revenue.
With that said, there are some key things you can do to ensure your only monthly giving revenue is growing as quickly as possible for your organization.
• Feature the monthly giving option on your homepage. From the face of your website, make your monthly giving call to action prominent. Whether you put in on a slider or somewhere else on the page, make sure it's clear this is a key action you want people to take.
• Create a monthly giving page. Dedicate an entire page on your website to monthly giving—more specifically, the why of it. Show people the need for monthly giving, and let them know as specifically as possible where the money goes. Which leads to the next point.
• Include a visual. Visuals explaining how varying monthly donation amounts make a difference can be incredibly effective. For example: $50 a month sends five children to school for a month; $100 a month feeds a family of four for a year. This paints a clear picture of the why. I know that some organizations can’t do this as easily as others—but try to create something that helps your donors connect with why their regular monthly give helps your organization.
• Add a monthly giving option to your donate page. This one seems pretty obvious, and yet so many nonprofit websites still lack this option. If someone is ready to support your cause and willing to donate, at least plant the seed in her mind of becoming of a monthly donor. Please note, this does not simply mean placing a check box next to the donation amount with a question about making it a monthly gift.
• Ask about monthly giving after a donation. Someone makes a donation. She cares about the cause and supports what you do. She’s feeling good about contributing. What better time to ask her to become a monthly donor? On your donation thank-you page, give donors the chance to quickly and easily sign up to give that same amount each month.
• Spotlight the impact. On your blog or other area of your site where you provide updates on the work you do, regularly include information about how monthly giving is making an impact. If possible, shine a light on the specific efforts your monthly giving program supports. And make sure you include a link and tell people how they can become monthly donors.
• Spotlight donors. You can also spotlight individual monthly donors. Nothing inspires people to take action like seeing other people doing it. Interview donors, and ask them what inspired them to become monthly contributors. Put a face to your monthly donors. And, again, make sure to always include the link where other people can sign up.
• Insert a monthly giving link in your header. Make a monthly giving reminder appear on every page of your site by putting a quick link on your website header, footer or sidebar (depending on how your site is designed). It could be as simple as a small graphic that says, "Make a difference all year 'round" with a link to your monthly giving page.
• Enable people to share monthly giving with friends. Create a quick and easy way for people to tell their friends they've become monthly donors and encourage them to do the same. Include a "Share With Friends" button on your donation thank-you page that allows people to post a message on social sites like Facebook and Twitter, saying something along the lines of, "I just became a monthly donor with Organization X and I want you to join me" with a link to sign up.
Simply put, you've got to make monthly giving a key focus on your online fundraising.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.