Sustaining donors is a vital aspect of fundraising. Caryn Stein, Vice President of Communications and Content at Network for Good, wrote about the importance of setting up a monthly giving program that’s simple to join and easy to understand. However, the first step in the monthly giving process is asking. Stein provides four things to keep in mind when asking for recurring donations.
- Make It a First Priority.
Whenever asking for donations, ask first for a monthly gift instead of just a onetime gift. Whether you are asking on your website, in email appeals or in a direct mail letter, be sure to ask, “Would you like to make this a monthly gift?” Getting in the habit of inviting your community to become monthly donors helps to maximize your nonprofit efforts.
- Start Small.
Focus on getting your donors into your program with a realistic and easy-to-agree-to amount. Remember: small gifts add up. Erica Waasdorp, author of Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant, advises to start with your average onetime gift and start your ask for about a third of that amount.
- Offer an Appealing Package.
Be sure to show a tangible tie to the idea of giving every month; it’s vital to describe the work you do in a way that relates to a recurring gift. Why is there a recurring need? How do monthly gifts add up to a specific impact? Make sure donors can easily understand how each monthly gift giving level will help your organization accomplish its goal.
- Help Monthly Donors Feel Important.
Your monthly donor program should focus on the impact your donors make, not on your organization. Giving monthly donors a special status and celebrating them in a unique way on your site and reserving 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 will make your monthly donors feel like their time and money is being valued.
Discover the unique qualities of your organization’s monthly giving program and how they may appeal to your donors. Framing your offer carefully can go a long way in making recurring gift asks stand out. Creating a better story in your supporters’ minds will inspire them to commit to monthly donations.
Kate Huber is currently a junior at the University of Iowa pursuing in degree in Communication Studies, a minor in Human Relations and a certificate in Fundraising and Philanthropy Communication. Kate is an avid sports fan, lover of reading and peanut butter enthusiast.