Plan for Monthly Donors Helps You To Be for the Unexpected
I’m very excited. Our 13-year-old grandson Kenan is coming to visit for a week. My husband has flown out to Charlotte, North Carolina, to pick him up and accompany him home next week — just to be safe.
You probably know by now that I’m an avid planner and preparing for this coming week was no different. We sat down and mapped out plan A and B if something happened with the flights.
Then we planned out what Kenan would be doing every day.
My husband retired a few weeks ago, so he has some time to spend with him and do some grandfatherly things. Teach him to fish. Maybe go clamming. Go for a bike ride on the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Play miniature golf. Go to the pool and, of course, head to the beach and get ice cream.
After all, this is Cape Cod, so there are lots of things to do on or off the water if it’s good weather!
We also made a plan for bad weather days because you just never know. Go bowling. Go to the movies. Check out the Pirate Museum, and the Air and Space Museum.
While I’ll be working most of the days, I’ll definitely plan to participate in a few fun things, like bowling, mini-golf, movies and ice cream! So, you see, a little planning goes a long way to keep Kenan and his Opa and his Oma ((the Dutch words for "grandfather" and "grandmother," respectively) busy, happy and sane.
For many of you, this, too, may be a good time to sit down and take a moment and look at the plan for the fall. Sometimes all it takes is writing something down and putting it somewhere you can see it. Nothing happens magically, but just putting it on your to-do list will make it much more likely to happen.
Take a moment to see how many monthly donors you have now and how much money they generate on an annual basis. Then look at the plan to grow your monthly donors. What is it that you’ve been looking to do more of? What is it you’re looking to start?
Maybe it’s a welcome email series to new donors to include an invitation for a monthly gift. Maybe it’s creating a little buck slip to include in your thank-you letter to start planting the seed about giving monthly. Or better yet, maybe it’s a match appeal to generate new monthly donors to run during the month of September.
September is a terrific time to generate new monthly donors, just before the busy giving season takes over! In fact, I love calling September "sustainer month."
Planning does not have to be very elaborate. It does not have to take very much time. All it takes is a calendar and a pen or pencil to map things out. The more you plan for monthly donors, the more monthly donors you’ll generate to help you be ready for the unexpected!
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is author of the book "Monthly Giving. The Sleeping Giant." 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 just co-authored the "Monthly Giving Starter and Marketing Kit" with Donor Perfect, and she’s working on her next book called "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 cat, Mientje.