Retaining dedicated supporters is essential to sustain and grow nonprofit organizations. However, keeping donors after their first-time donations is a challenge that many organizations face. Some charities are looking to monthly giving programs to help with their donor retention.
Programs that allow supporters to automatically give a fixed amount each month to a cause of their choice can give nonprofit organizations a source of reliable income and help cultivate donor relationships. Studies have shown that these programs can also produce more donations than one-time campaigns. Network for Good reports that monthly donors give 42% more in one year than one-time donors.
If you’re organization is considering implementing its own recurring giving program, below are some best practices to keep in mind.
Lay Out A Smooth System To Follow
For nonprofits, a donor management system on the back-end that can automate the signup process, track user contact data and process payments is essential. On your monthly donation page, simply describe what your recurring program supports and how individuals can join. The program should be explained well with compelling stories and imagery, while also simplifying the signup process.
Unicef captures all of these aspects in their monthly giving program. They also layout how the monthly gifts will be used and benefits of joining the program.
Identify Monthly Giving Prospects
Using a constituent management database, organizations can identify which constituents are more likely to be interested in joining a monthly giving program. For instance, an organization’s large gift donors may not be interested in a monthly giving program and would rather give in one lump sum. However, individuals that give at lower levels may be more interested in participating in a recurring program and giving smaller amounts each month. When asking constituents to join your program it is important to narrow your target audience into those that would be most comfortable giving on a recurring basis.
Offer Multiple Levels Of Giving
Even if users start out at a small level, if that relationship is cultivated well, the level amount may be raised over time. Plus, monthly donors are valuable to your organization in other ways. Besides simply donating to your organization, long-term donors are more likely to be involved in events and volunteer opportunities. This is why it is important to offer different levels of giving to monthly donors as well. Even though they are automatically giving to your cause each month, it is important to give them the flexibility to change the amount. It is also important to be transparent and share with them exactly where and how the funds will be used for each respective giving amount.
CARE's monthly donation page not only provides different levels of giving, but it shows how each amount will contribute to their cause. This helps potential donors see that each amount has a specific role in making a difference.
Make Them Feel Special
Monthly donors might be more involved with your organization on a regular basis, so make them feel special. Nonprofit organizations can do this by adding some type of membership or exclusive community aspect to monthly givers or by holding specific events.
Charity:water has its own community called Pipeline that is completed focused and dedicated to monthly donors.
Show Them The Impact Of Their Contributions Regularly
Since monthly donors are automatically and regularly donating to your cause, you likely won’t be sending them messages soliciting another donation. However, that doesn’t mean that you should not communicate with them. It is imperative to show them the impact of their contributions on a regular basis with images, stories, statistics and other concrete examples.
Monthly donors are a valuable asset to today’s nonprofit organizations. They fall into a unique category of supporters and should be approached with strategic and personalized messaging. Creating a successful monthly giving program can be challenging, but by forming a lasting relationship with dedicated donors that continuously support your organization, it is worth it.