This article originally appeared on Blackbaud’s NPEngage and is being used here with their permission.

With online giving now a major component of most organizations’ donor programs, it’s imperative that your donation forms are optimized to be effective.  It’s also important to ask for the donation you want. And trust me—you want monthly gifts! In fact, it was revealed in the Blackbaud Institute’s Sustainers in Focus Part 1 that donation revenue has the potential to increase by a whopping 50-300% per donor when you can get them to commit to sustained giving.

By making monthly giving the website default, you are signaling that sustaining support is your organization’s priority. This isn’t to discourage one-time gifts, but instead to say, “If you’re able, this is what we really need.” Think of it the same way you’d share an Amazon wish list with your family during the holidays: It’s a grateful nudge in the right direction.

And it’s a nudge that’s effective. In the follow-up Sustainers in Focus Part 2, one organization reported that by making sustained giving its website default, its number of sustainer gifts improved from 1.6% to 5.5%!

So how can you make monthly giving your website’s default? Below are a few examples of nonprofits that have utilized default monthly giving:


Human Rights Campaign

Not only does HRC’s donor page default to giving monthly, but they’ve also included information about their HRC Partners program with a link showing people other ways they can give. Think about how you can differentiate your monthly giving program from one-time donors to make your sustainers feel special.


Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood puts monthly giving front and center. They also make a note of how much other people are typically giving. Again, ask for the gift you’d most like to receive.

The Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society’s Humane Heroes donation form tells you a story and makes your gift feel more valuable right from the start. By explaining what donors’ funds are used for and why they’re necessary, Humane Heroes helps justify a monthly gift.



KERA TV Station

KERA (PBS and NPR for North Texas) offers a default monthly sustainers program that also presents the donor with some fun, tangible rewards for a monthly gift:


Compare the $10/month price for this travel thermos to the one-time cost of $120!:

Are there ways your monthly donor program can further incentivize new sustainers?


A donor is already on your website, ready to make a gift for your organization. Keep that positive momentum going by asking for a monthly gift!

Interested in more insights and best practices for sustained giving programs? Check out Blackbaud Institute’s Sustainers In Focus Part 2: Proven Practices for Success.