Why Monthly Giving Matters: The Impact and Sustainability it Brings
Let’s face it: nonprofits need a steady stream of income to make a lasting impact. One solution that can ensure both stability and sustainability for organizations is the implementation of a monthly giving program.
These programs empower donors to contribute on a recurring basis, creating a reliable source of funds that can be used to further the nonprofit’s mission. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the importance of monthly giving for nonprofits and provide insights on how to launch a successful program.
Benefits of monthly giving programs for nonprofits
Monthly giving programs have become increasingly popular among nonprofits in recent years. In fact, M+R Benchmarks reports that while overall giving declined last year revenue from monthly giving increased by 11%, and accounted for 28% of all online revenue.
Monthly giving provides many benefits beyond just a steady stream of income. Here are the top benefits of implementing a monthly giving program for your nonprofit:
Higher giving potential
Monthly donors tend to give more over time compared to one-time donors. This is because they have a longer-term commitment to your organization and are more likely to increase their giving over time. The average one-time gift amount on 4aGoodCause is $207, whereas the average monthly recurring donation is $63, which would add up to $756 within a year. By encouraging monthly giving, you can increase the overall giving potential of your donor base and achieve greater impact.
Predictable and reliable income
Monthly giving programs provide a predictable and reliable source of income for nonprofits. With recurring donations, you can better plan and budget for your organization’s programs and initiatives. This steady stream of income allows you to focus on your mission and long-term goals.
Increased donor retention
Monthly donors tend to have higher retention rates compared to one-time donors. In fact, recurring donors have an average donor retention rate of 90% (which is significantly higher than the 29% donor retention rate for one-time online donors). They are more likely to stick with your organization, providing you with sustained support over time. This translates to higher lifetime value for your organization and helps to build a stronger relationship between you and your donors.
Monthly giving programs are cost-effective because they eliminate the need for repeated solicitation efforts. New donor acquisition can cost 50-100% more than donor retention, so you’ll save money on fundraising materials, staff time, and other expenses associated with ongoing donor outreach. This frees up resources that can be redirected toward other critical programs and initiatives.
Additionally, monthly giving programs can also lead to less reliance on event fundraising, which frees up staff time to solicit major donors and spend less time planning complex events or one-off campaigns. By focusing on recurring donors, you can spend less time chasing new donors and build a stronger, more reliable funding base for your nonprofit.
Improved donor engagement
Monthly giving programs offer a unique opportunity for donors to connect more deeply with your organization. By offering exclusive benefits, such as newsletters or other insider content, you can provide your monthly donors with a sense of belonging and pride in supporting your organization. This can improve donor engagement and help to build a stronger relationship with your donors.
Implementing a monthly giving program might seem overwhelming, but it’s a powerful tool for improving your nonprofit’s sustainability and impact. Start by promoting the program to your current donor base and offering exclusive benefits to encourage monthly giving. Over time, you’ll see the benefits of a predictable, reliable source of income that can help you achieve your mission and goals.
Launching a monthly giving program
Wondering where to start? Here are some steps to follow when launching your program:
Become a champion for the program
To launch a successful monthly giving program, you need someone to champion the program. How about you? You should be passionate about your organization’s mission and committed to making the program a success. This means that you should be prepared to put in the time and effort to get the program off the ground and keep it running smoothly.
Convince your director and your board to support monthly giving
Before you can launch your monthly giving program, you need to get buy-in from your organization’s leadership. This means convincing your director and your board that monthly giving is an important strategy that will help your organization to meet its goals. Be prepared to present data and success stories from other organizations to make your case. A great way to solidify their support is to ask each board member to become a monthly giver!
Define your monthly giving ask
To launch a successful monthly giving program, you need to define your monthly giving ask. This means deciding how much you will ask donors to give each month and how that level of giving will impact your organization and those you serve. You should also consider whether you will offer different giving levels and what each level will include. The asking amount should be paired with an impact statement to help demonstrate how funds will be used and the impact they can make.
For example, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has a page promoting its Partners in Hope recurring giving program that suggests four giving levels and describes the impact each gift could make.
- $19/month could help St. Jude provide one rehabilitation ball for physical therapy.
- $25/month could help St. Jude provide one day of meals for a patient in the Kay Kafe, the hospital cafeteria.
- $50/month could help St. Jude provide one bone marrow needle for a patient.
- $120/month could help St. Jude provide a red wagon used to transport patients through the hospital.
Name and brand your program
To make your monthly giving program stand out, you need to name and brand it. Choose a name that is catchy and memorable, and create a logo that reflects your organization’s mission and values. Use your branding consistently across all of your marketing materials to build recognition and trust.
Example names with an accompanying ask:
- Champions of Change: Join our monthly giving program and become a champion for our cause.
- The Sustainers: By supporting us monthly, you help sustain our mission and impact.
- Hope Builders: As a monthly donor, you are building hope for those we serve.
- Circle of Care: Join our circle of care by giving monthly to support our programs and services.
- Heart of Gold: Your monthly gift is the heart of our organization, powering our impact every day.
- Monthly Allies: As a monthly ally, you are helping us achieve our goals and make a difference in the world.
- Partners for Progress: Join us as a monthly partner for progress and help us move forward towards our mission.
- Change Makers: Your monthly gift is making a change in the lives of those we serve, becoming a change maker in our community.
- Monthly Heroes: We consider our monthly donors as our heroes, helping us fight for our cause every month.
- Legacy Builders: Your monthly gift is building a legacy of impact and change for generations to come
Looking for more ideas for naming your program? Check out this big list of sustainer program names.
Find the right fundraising software
Launching a monthly giving program requires the right fundraising software. Beyond looking for software that is easy to use, affordable, and comes from a company that provides great customer support consider the monthly giving features.
Some monthly giving features to look for include recurring donation management, upsell boxes to convert one-time donors to recurring, recurring donation alerts, automatic updating of expired cards, and monthly giving “first’ donation pages.
Other features to look for in a fundraising platform:
- Unlimited fundraising: Launch unlimited fundraising pages to raise money year-round.
- Event registration: Plan and manage fundraising events, including ticket sales and attendee tracking.
- Crowdfunding: Launch crowdfunding campaigns to raise funds for specific projects or initiatives.
- Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Empower supporters to fundraise on your behalf through their own networks.
- Mobile giving: Allow donors to make donations via mobile devices.
- Donation tracking: Keep track of all donations made to your organization.
- Donor management: Keep track of all your donors and their giving history in one place.
- Social media integration: Share fundraising campaigns and engage with donors on social media platforms.
- Matching gift tools: Enable donors to acquire matching gifts from their employers.
- Donor-friendly option to help cover transaction fees: Ask donors to give more to help you cover processing fees (Do this the right way!)
Add an effective monthly giving option to your donation pages
To encourage donors to give monthly, you need to make it easy for them to do so. Add a monthly giving option to your donation pages, and make sure it is prominently displayed. The option to choose a monthly gift should be listed first, offer suggested giving amounts that fit with a monthly gift and those amounts should be paired with a statement that describes how the gift could impact your community. You can also build a donation page with monthly donations as the only option if you are specifically soliciting recurring gifts.
Also, consider offering an upsell pop-up box at checkout to entice a one-time donor to convert their one-time gift into a smaller monthly gift that will make a bigger impact over time.
Start promoting the program
Once you have everything in place, it’s time to start promoting your monthly giving program. Use email, social media, and direct mail to reach out to your donors and ask them to sign up. Be sure to highlight the benefits of monthly giving like the convenience of automatic donations, the ability to make a bigger impact over time, and to receive regular updates on the organization’s work.
Some quick ideas for promoting your program include:
- Use email marketing: Send targeted emails to your current donors and supporters, highlighting the benefits of the recurring giving program and encouraging them to sign up.
- Create a landing page: A dedicated page that explains the benefits and features of your recurring giving program can help potential donors understand why it’s important and why they should participate.
- Provide social proof: Share testimonials from current donors who have participated in the program and have seen the impact of their contributions.
- Offer incentives: Consider offering rewards or recognition for donors who participate in the recurring giving program, such as exclusive content or VIP access to events.
- Partner with influencers: Collaborate with influencers and ambassadors who share your organization’s values and mission to help spread the word about your recurring giving program.
- Utilize social media: Share updates and success stories about your recurring giving program on social media platforms to reach a wider audience and generate buzz around the program.
By following these steps, you can launch a successful monthly giving program that will help your nonprofit to build stronger relationships with donors, provide a stable foundation for your organization, and lower your fundraising costs over time.
Monthly giving is a crucial aspect of any organization’s fundraising strategy. It not only provides a predictable source of income but also supports the sustainability of programs and initiatives. Monthly donors are committed supporters who are more likely to continue giving over time and become advocates for the organization. By investing in monthly giving programs, nonprofits can build a strong base of loyal donors who contribute to their long-term success.
Ready to acquire more monthly givers?
Are you ready to take your monthly giving program to the next level? Request a demo today to see how you can acquire more monthly givers and increase your nonprofit’s long-term fundraising success and retention goals. With the right tools and strategies, you can create a sustainable and reliable revenue stream for your organization.