Monthly giving is an important conversation on both the nonprofit and the individual donor side. For nonprofits, it gives them sustainability and planning power. By taking away the ebbs and flows of fundraising, whether seasonal or driven by external events, it allows them to plan programming and forecast in a way that is based off known facts, rather than informed guesses.
For individual donors, often times it is easier to part with a small sum of money monthly – something that’s equivalent to our dry cleaning costs or a few days of coffee. Over the course of the year, the amount grows and suddenly an individual who had previously thought they weren’t a ‘major donor’ are giving at a significant, but doable, amount. This has the effect of opening up recognition or other opportunities typically limited to a nonprofit’s major donors. Moreover, individuals that give monthly are more likely to feel invested in the nonprofit throughout the year and feel more satisfaction with their giving.
So how can nonprofits encourage monthly giving? Nonprofits should make it simple to swap to monthly giving instead of a one-time gift. We recommend reviewing your organization’s donate page: does it allow donors to easily toggle between a one time or recurring gift? Is there a place where you can insert a sentence or a pop-up window asking donors to consider making this gift a monthly gift? Donors need several reminders that they should do something before they ultimately take the action.
Additionally, nonprofits can send specific appeals requesting monthly gifts that highlight the benefit, value, or meaning of giving monthly. Does a monthly gift of a certain seemingly small amount correlate with a specific program need (ie. a gift of $5 a month feeds a family of 2 for 3 months)? Increasingly, we’re seeing fundraising campaigns designed around asking for monthly givers, which include specific incentives for new sign ups. This sometimes takes the form of special recognition or access, such as an exclusive behind the scenes experience. One way to take this a step further is to recognize current monthly donors in a way that other annual funders will see – through your newsletter, social media, or annual event, for example.
We’re seeing that individuals want to feel more connected to their nonprofits of choice throughout the year and as the needs increase across the social sector, monthly giving can work well for both parties. Have you seen any monthly giving campaigns that were really successful? Or, do you want some suggestions on monthly giving appeal language that we have used that has worked? Contact us here or connect with @StarfishMarta.
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