Monthly Giving — Is It Just Part of Upstream Thinking?
If the past few weeks are any indication, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. But I’m hoping that we’ll be able to somewhat get back to normal sooner rather than later.
I’ve been working from home for over 15 years, so for me personally, that’s nothing new. What is new now is that I’m putting my yoga mat in my office, and I turn on my computer to participate in my barre class, using cans of soup as weights and laundry detergent as my kettlebell.
A good thing nobody else is watching. And an even better thing that the internet is working, and the power is on! Things could be a lot worse.
As a fundraiser who deals with processes for direct mail, monthly giving and any and all problems associated with it, this was a wonderful read.
I come across the three barriers to upstream thinking all the time: problem blindness (this will not happen here), a lack of ownership (nobody feels responsible) and tunneling (oftentimes focused on one problem, not being able to see other opportunities).
You may ask, why am I talking about this book? Well, because I still see a lot of downstream/reactive thinking in nonprofits and tons of hesitation and delay when it comes to monthly giving.
If there is ONE time that monthly donors can make or break your organization, now is that time!
Fortunately, I have some good news: Now may be a good time to ask for monthly gifts. I just worked with an organization that sent out an emergency email. They included two buttons — one aimed at monthly gifts and one aimed at one-time gifts. And turns out, it worked really well. The organization not only got a nice number of single gifts, but a healthy number of monthly donors as well!
Your donors want to help! It’s OK to ask now, and giving donors the option to make smaller gifts could be particularly welcome.
You have the tools to offer monthly giving, why not use them? Or would that be thinking upstream too much?
By the way, if you have some extra time, here are two more great books to put on your list. I’ll be reviewing those soon:
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.