Where Should Your Monthly Donors Go to Donate?
Choices. Opportunities. There are so many ways for donors to give now—it can be overwhelming. Not just for donors, but especially for you as the organization. Text-to-give. Crowdfunding. Facebook. YouTube. Instagram? Donate buttons anyone? You worry that you’re losing out on funds if you don’t offer it all.
As I described in my two do-nuts of monthly giving, while it’s certainly important to make it easy for monthly donors to give, you also don’t want to make it too easy. You want donors to realize that they’re committing to you and a monthly gift that will keep on giving for many years.
And it’s even more important for YOU as the organization that the monthly gift goes into your own system. You don’t want it going to some crowdfunding platform, mobile-giving partner or Facebook. You want to be able to keep track of your monthly donors and subsequent payment behavior in one system. So, no matter how you promote monthly giving, make sure you always direct new monthly donors to your payment page, so you can make sure it’s all feeding into the same pool. You can recognize, cultivate and retain your monthly donors much better that way.
So, if you are approached by the next mobile-giving platform or crowdfunder, and you’re gung-ho about testing it, consider it for single gifts first. Then make sure you receive the full information from your donors and then start working to convert them to give monthly.
But if—and this happens all the time—you don’t receive the information from the company about your donors or if you’re not allowed to contact them, it’ll be extremely hard to keep them giving monthly. Remember, donors think they’re supporting YOU! They don’t know that there’s something in the “middle” that’s not providing you the information.
So no matter how much these “shiny new things or approaches” will try to pressure you to add monthly giving, just say NO. See how it works for one-time gifts first.
With monthly gifts, cut out the middleman approach. Always, always direct your donors to your own monthly giving page, and you will not have any headaches about recognition or retention later.
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.
You can reach Erica at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (508) 776-1224.