Why Monthly Giving is Easy!

By Erica Waasdorp, President, A Direct Solution and author of Monthly Giving. The Sleeping Giant and NEW: Monthly Giving Made Easy

During the recent Virtual Summit for Nonprofit Changemakers , Ashton Rodenhiser did this wonderful visual overview of what I talked about for 45 minutes.

Mind you, she had only heard me speak once before with a different monthly giving focus. It’s truly amazing how she can capture the essence of the session.  If nothing else, print out this little graphic and put it on your bulletin board.

It’s a quick overview of why and how easy monthly giving really can be.

  • Easy for your donors. It’s donor-centric and donors want to help. The easier you can make it to help, the more money you will be able to raise. And the more donors you will keep.
  • Easy for you! You already have the systems and tools in place. What’s not to like about monthly donors who provide sustainable unrestricted funds for your mission?

Stewardship and engagement are important. You most likely already have a lot of messaging in place. Look at your ‘inventory’ or ‘assets’.  Because it’s easy to use what you have and repurpose it.

I have never heard of a donor who complained to you that you used a warm, wonderful thank you video 3 months ago on social media and now you’re sending it again in an email. They most likely will not remember it. You spent hours creating it, so why not get some extra mileage out of it?

I’ve never heard of a donor who complained that you send a story to a donor and then you send a slightly different introduction of that same story to your monthly donors. Of course, you do need to make sure that new monthly donors are moved into the monthly donor email segment, so there’s no overlap.

I’ve never heard of a donor who complained that you asked them why they give monthly.  I’m sure they’ll be tickled pink if you do. Testimonials are so tremendously powerful. Even if you have just one monthly donor (I’m hoping that’s at least you), you can give a quote about why you’re doing this. And then share it out in social and email, put it on your web site and your appeals and build from there.

I’ve never heard of a donor who complained that there was an extra button in their emails asking for a one-time gift and then another button asking for a monthly gift. What do you have to lose by doing this? I can guarantee you that if big organizations do this, they have tested it.

I’ve never heard of a fundraiser who complained that they didn’t learn from other nonprofits. So, join some programs with a small gift and see what others are doing. What do you like? What don’t you like? How long does it take them to get a thank you letter out? Do they call? What do you get next?

The key with all of this is that you MUST also keep it EASY for yourself. Do not overthink it. We fundraisers tend to be our own worst enemies sometimes. We overthink everything.

If there’s just one of you in your organization, I know you’re busy. So only commit to something you’re comfortable with committing to, even when it gets even busier at year end or during event times.

Try a button. Try an extra email. You really do not need to have fancy benefit programs in place. You really do not need to have any elaborate gifts. Donors do not want you spending money on this. A personal note means a lot more to them. The more personal you can make it, the better.

You really do not have to tell monthly donors how many updates they will get. You must simply tell them that they will receive updates on how their gifts are making a difference. If that’s an e-news, great. If that’s a print newsletter you’re already sending out to your donors, that’s great.

There really is no need to reinvent the wheel.

All I ask of you is to take one hour at the next opportunity to review your current program and set some goals. Then see what you can add to generate more monthly donors by adding just a few things. No heavy lifting. Easy.

Do one thing each week and see your number of monthly donors grow. Then, you’ll not only have more monthly donors to call, write or email and ask for a testimonial, but you’ll also see how their annual value grows and it will get even easier to add just one more thing to grow further.

You know what they say, if you write down your goals, you’ll make them happen. But you must write them down. Then chip away at it. How about starting come January and focus on just one thing each week and see what happens?

Print out this wonderful recap of how monthly giving, thanks to Top Nonprofits’ Changemakers conference. Then apply some of it and I can guarantee you will grow your monthly donors! Easy.

About the author

Erica Waasdorp is President of A Direct Solution, located on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, working with non-profit clients nationally and internationally on appeals and monthly giving.

Erica Waasdorp published Monthly Giving. The Sleeping Giant and her second book Monthly Giving Made Easy came out in 2021.

She created the Monthly Donor Road Map and several e-books to include the Top 7 Questions about Monthly Giving, the Monthly Donor Retention Play-Book, and more.

Erica is a Master Trainer for the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the former International Fundraising Congress US Ambassador. She regularly presents in person and virtually on appeals, direct mail and monthly giving.

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