Want to enable your donors to give more and stop consistently asking them for money? Working to convert annual donors into monthly donors is one of the smartest things you can do as a fundraiser. Imagine thanking people every month instead of hitting them up for a donation. (Sounds pretty great, right?) Plus, you could benefit from a dependable stream of contributions.
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The good news is you can easily set the stage to make donors more likely to commit to a monthly gift! Here's how:
1. Make It Easy.
Many donors prefer to give online because it’s easy and convenient. Giving a recurring gift through your online donation form should also be easy for your donor—they select their donation amount and can automatically give throughout the year without coming back to make a new donation.
Wherever you ask for donations on your website, try asking for a monthly pledge, instead of just a onetime gift. When a donor is deciding on a donation amount, ask, "Would you like to make this a monthly gift?" (Need an online donation processing service that offers recurring gifts? Find out more about Network for Good’s DonateNow branded donation pages.)
2. Frame Your Ask
When you ask donors for money, how are you phrasing the question? Instead of asking supporters to give just at year-end, recommend that they sign up to give every month next year. This is clearly a win for them because it's convenient and it’s not one big hit to their pocketbooks at the end of the year. ... And it's also a win for you! A steady stream support can lead to better budgeting and more help for other year-round. Bonus: In some cases, a donor may give more in total than they would as a onetime gift, since it’s easier to spread it out over time.
3. Offer an Appealing Package
Describe the good that you do in a way that relates to a monthly gift and show a tangible tie to the idea of giving every month. The Liz Logelin Foundation encourages donors to give "$7 on the 7th" to help widows and widowers with young families. With this campaign, the foundation help donors realize it’s possible to create a big impact for a small amount each month.
Consider giving your recurring donors a special status. Give monthly donors a special name and recognize them in a unique way on your site. You can reserve special perks for these loyal supporters, such as a sneak peek to your newsletter, first dibs on event tickets, or invitations to an open house.
All donors are important to nonprofits, but an increase in recurring, monthly gifts is a reliable blessing that many organizations would be thrilled to have.
- Ensure your donation form allows for a monthly gift.
- Audit your appeals: make sure you ask donors to consider giving a monthly contribution.
- Think of creative ways to illustrate a monthly gift’s impact.
- Reward monthly donors with special recognition or perks.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on June 25, 2012 and has been updated.