Monthly Giving Will Grow in Popularity in the Post-Pandemic Nonprofit
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been able to do some traveling again — in-person client visits, family visits, fun. Sitting on airplanes and in airports means time to read. I never leave home without a fundraising book to enjoy (along with other books, of course).
Recently, I read "The Post-Pandemic Nonprofit: 12 Disruptive Trends Your Nonprofit Must Master" by Jeremy Reis. It’s a great and easy read in some 170 pages. It took me about two hours to get through it.
I like how Jeremy broke up the book by: who we are, how we operate, how we grow and where do we go from here?
While I’d like to say we’re finally back to normal, it’s a "new normal" for sure. As nonprofits are going back to offices and in-person events, remote work and virtual events are not going away.
And in-person events will be different too. Will businesses be able to contribute in ways they did before? For example, one of my clients shared how it's planning to do a much smaller auction at its golf tournament later this fall, simply because they’re not expecting businesses to be able to donate as much in kind as they had in the past. Meanwhile their direct mail donors have stepped up like never ever before and they’re continuing to do so!
Jeremy’s book addresses many "new normal" elements nonprofit leaders must bear in mind. I particularly liked his section on nimble program delivery and scaling programs and, of course, the need for nonprofit leadership to take risks.
He mentioned recurring giving as an important way to fund nonprofit programs, with a chapter addressing how best to generate monthly donors. One tip: “Start acquiring donors from your single-gift donors and from people who are committed to your nonprofit organization, like volunteers.” Then explore other channels. And then keep at it. It’s a continuous effort.
The good news is that direct mail, digital and phone (live or text) continue to shine and those are great channels for monthly giving.
One of my favorite quotes from the book is "Monthly giving programs have been proven to be one of the most effective forms of fundraising for nonprofits. Building recurring giving will be vital as a foundation for your organization’s success in the post-pandemic world.”
Donors have changed the ways they transact in other areas of life and monthly giving fits right in. If you’re not yet focusing on monthly giving, I challenge you to ask yourself why.
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.