Push Through To Find the Next 100 Monthly Donors
Over the years, I’ve worked with nonprofits of all sizes — small, midsize, large — when it comes to monthly donors.
A few of those smaller organizations started out earlier this year with 15 monthly donors. Now, a few months later, they are at 65 by introducing just a few additional ways to generate new monthly donors.
An extra button and a small match made all the difference for one. A few emails and a message in the nonprofit’s newsletter made all the difference for another.
So, is this where it ends? Well, yes, your program could stagnate if you don’t take the next step.
What else can you add? What’s your potential? Your number of donors and your number of email names make a difference.
So do yourself a favor. Write down your benchmarks. Then evaluate your activities. What does this look like?
- Where are you today? What’s the number of monthly donors? What’s their annual value?
- What percentage is this of your total number of active donors? Are you currently at 1%, 3%, 5%?
- What were the sources of the new recurring donors? Then, what can you do more of? If you generated 50 new monthly donors from a match during a sustainer drive, can you get another match and do another sustainer drive? Just think, if you’re at 65 now, that would push you through the first 100 recurring donors for your organization.
- Have you talked to some of those 65 monthly donors and asked them why they’re giving monthly? Have you tried sharing that testimonial in email, on your website and social media channels?
- What additional opportunities can you add? Have you tried the e-newsletter? Have you tried a monthly email? Have you tried that second button? Can you try a tick box on the appeal reply form? Have you tried picking up the phone?
As soon as you realize that monthly giving requests are not a one-shot deal, but rather they should ideally permeate all your fundraising efforts, the more successful you will be.
So, if you moved from 15 to 65, that’s fantastic. Now, let’s see how you can move from 65 to 100, to 200 — the sky’s the limit. You’ve already come a great way. Don’t despair, keep the momentum going and you’ll have a rocking and rolling sustainer program soon!
Editor’s Note: Erica Waasdorp's blog, Monthly Giving Motivator, will move to Thursdays starting in November.
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.