What Do Nonprofit Monthly Donors Really Think About Giving?
As you may know, Penelope Burk does some tremendous research on donors thinking and behavior. From her 2017 report, I was particularly pleased to see the tremendous move from donors with the focus on monthly giving, especially for younger donors. I reported on this before.
As a follow up, Penelope recently wrote a blog about what donors are thinking, especially pertaining to disaster giving.
Disaster donors are slightly different from other donors, as the gift is made much more spontaneously, based upon what they see and hear in the media. They’re also the most difficult to turn into ongoing supporters.
So, if you can convert a disaster donor to give monthly, that’s the most valuable conversion you can think of. There were two donor quotes Penelope mentioned I particularly loved:
“I ALWAYS donate when an organization I believe in asks me to give, but I think I could do a better job actually budgeting for philanthropy. Maybe I should sign up for sustaining donations. “
“I would give more if someone could help me figure out how I can do that and still save for retirement, etc. “
These touch on the essence of monthly giving: It is easy for the donor to budget, save for retirement and support the organizations they care for.
So what does this mean? To convince a donor to give monthly, here are the two most important talking points to use in your communication, on your web site, your social media, in your direct mail and in your phone calls:
- Giving monthly is EASY!
- A SMALL gift makes a difference.
Of course, the above also means that it should be easy for the donor to find, to set up and to change. As you’re getting into summer and the “slower giving” season (other than events), we’re also going into the heavier disaster season. Now’s the time to work on doing everything in your power to create online giving pages that are easy to find and to navigate and to start creating your messaging.
Now’s also a good time to so some testing and see what works best. Finally, I hear a lot of areas are starting to create special giving days, which are typically held in September. That’s a great time to focus on monthly giving as well. Your donors will appreciate it and so will your cash flow!
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.