What’s the Monthly Donor Secret Sauce?
What’s the monthly donor secret sauce?
This was one of the questions that came up in a recent podcast I recorded with RKD Group. (It’s expected to go live very soon, so stay tuned!)
The answer is that there really is no secret sauce for generating more monthly donors other than “keep stirring it, and your sauce will get thicker and more delicious!”
Here are the elements to put into creating that wonderful sauce we call monthly donors who will keep feeding your organization for years to come:
- You have to be willing to be the cook (and sometimes even the bottle washer).
- You have to have the right utensils. They’re already in your kitchen drawer—a whisk or a spoon. For monthly giving, you have your website and your online giving page to accommodate any monthly donor who comes your way.
- You have to be willing to stir in some extra ingredients. Taste on a regular basis, and see if you need to add some salt or spices or perhaps more tomatoes or vegetables. For monthly giving, this means you’ll have to see if you can make little tweaks and creative approaches to what you’re already doing. Change up one email to ask for a monthly gift instead of a one-time gift. Add a P.S. in a letter or email. Add the option to give monthly to a thank-you email. Then see the results, and do more of it. It’s literally just chipping away at adding opportunities to give monthly wherever it fits. To come back to the cooking metaphor: You have the spices in your cupboard, you just have to be willing to use them! Be daring and spice up your monthly donor plan.
- For the best results, you have to keep stirring, but you also should be willing to let the sauce simmer. When you put that crock pot on your counter, you don’t expect your sauce to be ready in five minutes, right? The same applies to growing your monthly donors. It takes time. It’s literally a matter of chipping away at it, but the more you do it, the better your sauce will taste, the longer it will last, the more money you will raise.
There you have it. Even if you haven’t cooked anything in your life, you can still create that (secret) sauce for your own monthly donor program with just four little elements.
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.