May 27, 2022

The Ultimate Guide to Monthly Giving Programs

The Ultimate Guide to Monthly Giving Programs

Monthly giving programs bring a consistent funding stream to any charity. Period.  

If you don’t have an effective recurring donation strategy in place, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities to collect recurring revenue powered by dedicated donors.

As you get your team to work on the planning of creating a strong monthly giving program that suits the needs of your charity and your donors, we’ll help you through some tips to ensure successful and sustainable fundraising. So, here we go with the best practices on how to start a monthly giving program for your charity.   

1. Decide if monthly giving programs suit your mission

Too often charities are lured by large one-time donations over small recurring gifts. This is because organizations fail to appreciate the long-term value that recurring donations might give, focusing instead on their short-term financial objectives.

If your charity is focused on short-term causes, then one-time fundraising suits your mission. But, if you have long-term goals in mind, ensure that you start the monthly giving programs. By doing this you increase your donor pool’s lifetime value. And this strategy has to run parallel with the one-time donation collection.

2. Ensure you have a seamless collection system in place  

The first thing to make sure of before starting the monthly giving program is to ensure that you have an efficient donation management software in place to automate the signup process, track user contact data, and accept and track the recurring donations. In addition, the system has to automatically generate transaction receipts and email them to the donor.  

3. Tie the donations to a mission

Agreed, you are working on charitable causes. But make your mission clear when it comes to asking for support from donors. Find ways to be transparent and win their trust. After all, you are trying to change the giving behavior of your donors. You need to convince people who were making one or two gifts a year to opt for the monthly giving program.  

How will you convince them? Break down the expenses and show them how you will utilize their gifts. And yes, describe the causes supported by the monthly giving program and how individuals can join. A simple layout of how the monthly gifts will be utilized and the benefits of joining the program is a must on your donation page. Write a compelling description and upload images and a short video about the causes you support and their impact. By doing so, you help the donor visualize the impact their donations are having on the cause.

4. Add recurring donations CTA on your donation page

If you have set up a donation page for a cause on an online fundraising platform, do not forget to add the ‘Sign Up For Monthly Giving Program’ CTA on it next to the ‘Donate Now’ button. Share the page link on your social media platforms. You never know, you might get help from unexpected quarters who will be willing to sign up for the recurring donations. Do not leave anything to chance when promoting your monthly giving program. Sometimes, help comes from the people you least expect. You can also opt for paid promotions on social media platforms based on your budget. Targeted advertising also gets you good results.  

givingx, an online fundraising platform, has all the features to help you in setting up the monthly recurring program. You can easily set up a donation page for a worthwhile cause, share it on social media, and attract donors from far and wide.  

5. Target frequent givers

When you have decided to run the monthly giving program, you have a challenging task in hand- to scout for potential donors. It is easy to convert frequent donors to lifetime recurring donors. Segment your donor based on the frequency of donations done in a year or in the recent past and the giving amount. Then, there are other potential donors who are more likely to join the recurring program-

  • Young supporters
  • Event attendees
  • Former board members
  • Past donors who have stopped donating now
  • Volunteers  

Once you have a list of strong supporters, target them through personalized emails, one-to-one meetings, and other such actions to make them sign for the monthly giving programs. The point is to narrow down the donor base and target the potential donors so that your campaign is a success.

6. Make multiple levels of giving

Why we suggest segmenting the donors based on their donation frequency and the amount is to decide on the levels of giving. Instead of asking all of the potential donors to sign up for a monthly giving program of $100, create multiple levels that you can raise over time. You can start from $50 and go up to $1000 or more depending on the gifting capacity of your donors. Some donors may prefer to be involved in events and volunteering programs than signing up for monthly recurring donations. It is completely okay. Give the donors who have participated in the recurring donations the flexibility to change the amount. Be transparent on the fund utilization so that your donors know that their contribution is making a difference.

7. Empower your recruiters

Encourage supporters and volunteers to become advocates of monthly giving programs. Train them on talking to donors and ask them to reach out to people on their network. Influential volunteers have the ability to reach and convert new donors. Take at least a day in a week to talk to your supporters and motivate them to recruit new monthly giving donors. Irrespective of how many new donors they have been successful in converting, encourage your volunteers and thank them for their fundraising efforts.

8. Make the donors feel special

When donors sign up for your monthly giving program they expect some accountability from you. Your task is to make them feel involved in the activities of your nonprofit on a regular basis. You can form a community of recurring donors and share all the updates, event invites, and other information. You can also write and share articles on the causes that you are working on, their impact on the world, and a whole lot of other stuff that makes them proud to be associated with your charity.

9. Thank the donors and share regular updates

Once you sign up donors for the monthly giving program, you’ll have to implement strategies to keep them in the loop about the impact of their donations. It is crucial to update them on a regular basis. You can do it with images, videos, statistics, and other examples. Also, don’t forget to thank your donors for their generosity. Depending on their donation amount, you can send them small gifts such as planters, eco-friendly products, etc, and show that you are indebted to them for their kind deed.

10. Measure the effect of the monthly recurring program

It’s not all about your fundraising goals. Instead of only focusing on the amount collected, measure and analyze the number of donors you have added, the lifetime value you create with such donors, and the number of donors who have left the program or switched over to a lower giving level. Analyze the response for your marketing activities such as email clickthroughs, click to recurring donation links, and so on. Also, compare the recurring donation sign-ups against the one-time donations.

Will you strive to create an increased donor lifetime value or prefer a one-time donation?

Monthly donors are an asset to a charity. It helps your nonprofit to get a steady stream of funds for your associated causes.

Creating a successful monthly giving program is a challenging task. But once you have proper strategies in place, you’ll realize the value of recurring fundraising is much more than one-time donations.   

givingx is an online fundraising platform to help charities and nonprofits set up a donation page to raise funds for a cause. You can integrate your recurring donation program software to this page to make it easy for the donors to sign up and participate in causes that are close to their hearts.