Monthly Giving Programs Are Like Eating Your Veggies
Recently, I was on Facebook Live with a colleague, and we were discussing some tips for growing monthly gifts. The question of why so many nonprofits are still hesitating about introducing monthly giving to their donors came up. It’s still a real mystery to me.
It made me think of my childhood. My mom and dad always told me and my siblings (I’m the oldest of four): “Eat your veggies. They’re good for you!”
They always came up with different reasons why. Sometimes they’d say: “Because I say so.” Other times, for example, when we had carrots, they’d tell us: “Carrots are great for your eyes. Have you ever seen a bunny wearing glasses?”
Well, you know what happens when someone tells you what’s good for you? You might question its validity. You’re not always going to buy into it. It’s so much more fun to check into the latest new, shiny, big thing, because that’s so much more exciting, right?
Ask yourself, especially in the pandemic world we’re living in right now, is that next new shiny big thing going to help you retain donors and bring in more support — no matter how much longer the pandemic goes on or whether another disaster is right around the corner?
Let’s go back to eating your veggies for a minute. Cauliflower was not my favorite, but I could add some apple sauce, so it was more palatable. If it was brussels sprouts, I’d pinch my nose. My mom would then say: “Just take one little bite. And then another one. And another one.”
How about taking that approach when it comes to monthly giving?
You can read so many reasons why it is good for you to have a monthly giving program. There are many wonderful examples of organizations who have converted to focusing on monthly giving. You don’t have to be huge to start. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or even time.
You just must commit to “taking that first bite.” Doing that one thing that may very well be the best thing you’ve ever done. Once you eat your veggies, once you grow your monthly giving program, you’ll feel much better, I promise you.
So, how about committing to eating your veggies for a few months and see what happens?
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.