April 26, 2023

How to increase recurring donations for nonprofits?

How to increase recurring donations for nonprofits?

If nonprofits have to survive and keep working for their associated causes, they need a continuous outpouring of donations. And nonprofits are having it easier than ever. Public support for charities has been rising, and today, the average American supports 4-5 charities with an average donation of up to $450 per year.

The challenge, though, lies in converting these donations into monthly giving programs. With stiff competition and thousands of online donation pages cropping up every single day, it’s much more challenging to implement than you would probably imagine. At our custom fundraising software, GivingX, we are seeing nonprofits that put efforts into collecting recurring donations thrive and earn donor loyalty, while those that seek one-time donations often struggle to meet their goals.  

In this post, we’ll explain recurring donations for nonprofits, their benefits, and how you can set up strategies to convert one-time donations into regular giving programs and increase recurring donations for your nonprofit.

What is a recurring donation for nonprofits?

Recurring donations are regular donations made by donors to the nonprofit. The donations may be weekly, monthly, quarterly, or half-yearly. The donation frequency depends on the individual capacity of the donor and the strategy set up by the nonprofit. There are many nonprofits that set up monthly recurring donations to get more donations and increase donor loyalty.

What are the benefits of setting up a monthly giving program or recurring donations online?

When integrated properly, the benefits of monthly giving programs outweigh those of other gifting models like one-time donations or annual pledges. Here are the benefits of recurring donations for nonprofits:

  • Increased donations

When you combine the monthly donations, the total far exceeds that given through one-time or annual pledges. Donors tend to donate more frequently and consistently in a monthly giving program.

  • Increased donor retention rate

Monthly donors have a retention rate of 90%, compared to 46% on average. This statistic clearly shows that recurring donors tend to stick around longer than one-time donors, which can help with long-term sustainability for the nonprofit.

  • Reduced marketing effort

Indeed, it takes a lot of marketing efforts to bring in donors. Now, you can’t afford to lose them. The best strategy is to convert them into recurring donors so that you don’t have to reach out to them frequently for repeat donations. Once the donors commit to monthly giving programs, they make payments on a regular basis with no additional effort from the nonprofit.

  • Increased donor engagement

Recurring donors feel like part of the nonprofit. They are most likely to participate in events, volunteer, and spread the word about the organization.

  • Increased donor convenience

Recurring donations are convenient for donors, as they can set up a regular donation stream and not worry about organizations disturbing them frequently.

  • Higher lifetime donor value

As we have mentioned before, the monthly donations of a donor add up over their lifetime and are definitely more than their infrequent once or twice donations.

  • Steady source of income for nonprofits

Recurring donations make it easy for nonprofits to account for future funds. They provide a steady flow of funding, which can help reduce fundraising costs and allow nonprofits to focus on their mission.

How to increase recurring donations for nonprofits?

The major mistake that organizations make is chasing big donations while disregarding monthly donors. Although big donations are valuable, recurring donations are those that provide you with a reliable source of income. With it, you don’t have to worry about sustaining the causes you are associated with or paying for the nonprofit staff and other expenses. So, what can you do to encourage recurring donations?

1. Make sure your custom fundraising software allows for collecting monthly donations

Before you create an online donation page, ensure that your custom fundraising software has features to include recurring donations. Some platforms may lure you with their zero costs, but many such platforms provide the bare minimum of features. The fundraising software GivingX has 1.45% as platform fees and includes everything in it, with no other plan available. With such software, you can start your crowdfunding now and ensure that it translates into recurring donations for your nonprofit.

2. Offer flexible payment options to donors

Online donors prefer flexibility when selecting the monthly donation option. Some like to pay with cards, while others like to use payment options like Apple Pay and PayPal. Study the payment options your donors prefer and be sure that your custom fundraising software platform has enough payment options for them. Another crucial point is security. The software should be PCI-compliant if you are accepting donations from financial cards. For instance, GivingX provides you with 125+ secured payment gateways to help you collect recurring donations. Highlight these factors when you encourage your donors to donate for a cause now, and there are high chances that they won’t hesitate to convert it into recurring donations.    

3. Create a donation landing page

When creating a donation landing page for your cause on a custom fundraising software, remember to include a 'Sign Up for Monthly Giving Program' call-to-action button next to the 'Donate Now' button. Spread the word by sharing the page link on your social media accounts, as unexpected supporters may be interested in signing up for recurring donations. It's important to leave no stone unturned when promoting your monthly giving program, as you never know who might lend a helping hand. If your budget allows, consider investing in targeted advertising on social media platforms to yield good results.

GivingX offers free unlimited integrations through Zapier that are necessary for setting up a successful monthly recurring program. With it, create a landing page for your cause, share it on social media, and attract donors from all over.

4. Target frequent donors

Launching a monthly giving program can be daunting, as it requires finding potential donors who are willing to participate. It's easier to convince regular donors to become recurring donors for life. To accomplish this, you must segment your donor base based on the frequency and amount of donations made in the past year or recent past. Additionally, there are other potential donors who may be interested in joining the recurring program, such as young supporters, event attendees, former board members, past donors who have stopped donating, and volunteers.

Once you have compiled a list of strong supporters, target them with personalized emails, one-on-one meetings, and other relevant outreach efforts to encourage them to sign up for the monthly giving program. The objective is to focus on a specific group of donors to ensure the success of your campaign.

5. Set up tiered monthly donations

Segmenting donors based on their donation frequency and amount is important as it allows you to determine the appropriate giving levels for your monthly giving program.

Instead of requesting potential donors to enroll in a $100 monthly giving program, consider creating multiple giving levels that can be increased over time. Giving levels can range from $50 to $1000 or more, depending on the donor's capacity to give. It's possible that some donors may prefer to contribute through events and volunteering rather than recurring donations, and that's okay.

For donors who participate in recurring donations, offer the flexibility to change the donation amount as needed. To ensure transparency, provide information on how the funds are being utilized so that donors can see the impact of their contribution.

6. Empower your team

Motivate your supporters and volunteers to become advocates for your monthly giving program. Provide them with training on how to communicate with potential donors, and encourage them to reach out to people in their network. Influential volunteers can play a crucial role in attracting and converting new donors.

Dedicate at least one day each week to engaging with your supporters and inspiring them to recruit new recurring donors. Whether or not they are successful in converting new donors, acknowledge your volunteers' fundraising efforts and express your gratitude.

7. Give monthly updates to your donors

After successfully enlisting donors for your monthly giving program, it's important to establish strategies for maintaining donor engagement and informing them about the impact of their contributions. Consistent updates, featuring photos, short videos, statistics, and real-life instances, are essential.

Expressing gratitude to your donors for their generosity is also crucial, and depending on the magnitude of their donations, you could offer small tokens of appreciation like eco-friendly products, planters, etc. These gestures demonstrate your indebtedness to their donations.  

8. Track the progress of your recurring program

Rather than solely concentrating on the amount raised, it's important to consider other metrics as well. These may include the number of new donors acquired, the long-term value generated from such donors, and the attrition rate of donors who have left the program or downgraded their giving level.

Additionally, analyzing the effectiveness of marketing initiatives, such as click-through rates on emails and recurring donation links, can provide valuable insights. Comparing the number of recurring donation sign-ups to one-time donations can offer a clearer understanding of donor behavior and preferences.

Make your recurring gift program a success with GivingX

GivingX’s features & pricing are a huge plus for nonprofits seeking to grow their funding through the monthly donation programs. We let nonprofits integrate with Zapier for free unlimited integrations to help them keep in touch with their donors, manage donor CRM, track their recurring program analytics, and share their donation forms or donation landing pages on social media.

Start your crowdfunding now! Create an online donation page on GivingX and turn one-time donors into loyal donors for the long term.