Generate New Monthly Donors With These Top 2 Must-Dos
In one of the webinars I present on monthly giving, one of the polls is: “How often do you ask someone to become a monthly donor?” The answer in some 50 percent of cases is not at all. Twenty percent say once a year and others more often than that—maybe twice or three times.
Well, here’s your number one must-do when it comes to bringing in new monthly donors:
Must-Do No. 1: You must ASK for it
As fundraisers, we know that asking is something we do all the time. But it’s a little bit of a mind shift to ask for a monthly donation instead of a one-time gift. The reality is that the more you ask, the more monthly donors you’ll find. You really don’t have to do anything different except direct donors to your monthly donation page and see what happens.
For some reason, monthly donors tend to be the “black sheep” of fundraising. In all these years working with them and motivating organizations to invest some time and resources into them, I’ve not been able to figure out why that’s the case.
What I do know is that once the mind has shifted and the commitment is there to add asking monthly donors into the overall plan, programs grow and grow some more!
One of my clients, a religious organization in Boston, has 600 monthly donors, and we’ve started to review how they can grow to the first 1,000.
You know what they say about setting goals. If you write them down, you’ll accomplish them. Well, just the simple fact that they’ve made the commitment to grow meant that they’re starting to ask more often, and guess what? They’re growing!
They asked their staff to join. And we’re seeing new monthly donors come in from their emails, their “thank you” letter inserts and their appeals. It’s amazing!
Must-Do No. 2: You must make it EASY for the donor!
There’s no easier way to ask for monthly gifts than by creating a special monthly donor page and directing donors to go there. Click, submit et voila! Make sure it’s easy to find the monthly donor page from your home page and give donors the easiest way to get there.
The good news is that it has also become a lot easier for organizations to generate monthly donors, but it will still require a little work. If you find the focus to create that monthly donor page and a warm and fuzzy “thank you” email and auto-responder, you’ll be ready to make it a lot easier for your constituents to become monthly donors and you’ll be ready to implement "Must-Do No. 1" and grow.
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.