What is a Monthly Giving Program? 3 Tips for Creating a Great One for Your Nonprofit
It’s a nonprofit fundraising strategy that is one of the latest and greatest trends for organizations around the world.
No matter the size or the cause you’re helping, monthly giving programs are doing wonders for nonprofits.
But what is recurring giving? And better yet, why is it important to prioritize a monthly donor program?
We’re discussing everything to know about it. Plus we’re giving you 3 top tips for creating a great one for your nonprofit.
What is Recurring Giving?
Recurring giving simply refers to a nonprofit supporter who donates to your mission time and time again.
The broad term, recurring giving, might mean that the donor gives annually. Or it could mean they give once every quarter or once every six months. It can also mean monthly donors.
Why is Recurring Giving So Important for Nonprofits?
Recurring giving is so important because it’s much easier to ask someone who’s donated once to donate again.
That’s because every single supporter goes through something called the donor journey.
The donor journey starts when someone first learns about your nonprofit organization. Then, they read up on your mission. They learn more about what you do and how you do it. They learn more about your nonprofit’s values.
After that, they start considering contributing to your organization.
And hopefully, given some time, they decide to donate. Once they’ve decided to do so, they’ve already hit three key points of the donor journey: they know your organization. They like your organization. And they trust your organization.
Now, some donors may move through this process very quickly. For certain supporters, they might learn, like, and trust your nonprofit within a matter of minutes. For others, it can take hours, days, or even months before they’re ready to give the first time.
Either way, it still takes time for supporters to feel comfortable enough to donate to your nonprofit for the first time.
But for the second? It doesn’t take as long! Because they know, like, and trust your nonprofit. So asking for that second, third, or sixtieth donation is much easier!
And because it doesn’t take as much effort or time to ask for another donation, recurring giving is one of the fastest ways to bring in more revenue and make more of an impact. In fact, according to Network for Good, the average recurring donor gives 42% more in a single year than donors who only give once.
What is a Monthly Giving Program for Nonprofits?
Recurring giving is a broad term for someone who donates more than once over the span of their contribution history.
But a monthly donor program narrows that term down to encourage donors to give each month.
Rather than reaching out every year or even every quarter, you can create a monthly giving program that asks donors to contribute each month.
Or you can even create a program that automatically does it for them (if they opt into that, of course).
Monthly giving programs are one of the most popular nonprofit fundraising strategies used right now. And that’s because they offer revenue you can count on, month after month!
These programs are usually created as “exclusive” clubs or communities that donors can opt into. It’s also a way for supporters to feel more connected to your organization and what you’re doing. More and more, donors are wanting to feel as though they’re contributing to the cause, rather than simply writing a check.
The monthly donor programs are a great way to give them that!
3 Top Tips on Creating a Monthly Giving Program for Your Nonprofit
To make sure your nonprofit can bring in more donations through a recurring giving program, you need to create a monthly giving option that encourages supporters to opt into it.
Here are 3 of our top tips when it comes to creating a monthly giving program for your nonprofit:
1. Target the Right People in Your Audience
Not every supporter is the right person to partner with for your monthly giving program. Some donors would rather contribute a large gift once. Others don’t want to contribute monetarily. They’d rather give their time.
So, you need to make sure you’re targeting the right people in your audience to market your monthly giving program to.
This is where pulling segmented reports in your donor management software or your nonprofit CRM tool is helpful!
You can find the supporters who have donated to your nonprofit recently and multiple times in the last year. As you pull your report, filter your audience to show donors who have donated more than once in the last year. Then, filter your audience to show donors who have contributed in the past 1-3 months.
Those are, ideally, the people you want to reach out to for your monthly giving program. They’ve shown interest in supporting your nonprofit recently. And they’ve shown that they’re open to contributing more often!
2. Be Transparent in the Impact They’re Helping You Achieve
Part of getting people to sign up for your monthly giving program is helping them understand why they should change their donating patterns.
Why is it more beneficial for them to donate every month rather than just once every quarter?
They need to understand the good of participating in this program. Plus, they want something they can rally behind. So give them something they can fully support!
Be transparent in your monthly giving program’s online donation page. And don’t forget to be specific. Because specificity goes much further than staying vague.
For example, if a $15 donation once per month provides reliable, clean drinking water for 3 families of four every month, then say so! That goes much further than saying, “$15 gives water.”
You can do the same for each option you give your supporters. What does $35 do? How about $75?
3. Create an Exclusive Community
As we mentioned before, more and more supporters are looking for a way to be involved. They want to know that their hard-earned dollars are going to the greater good. And they want to know they’re actually contributing to something that’s going to create an impact, rather than just writing out a check.
So give them the opportunity to have a bigger hand in your mission. Create an exclusive community that’s just for them.
Maybe you brand your nonprofit monthly donor program to include a program name. Maybe you give your supporters a name, too. It could be something like “partner,” “exclusive member,” or “VIP.”
You can also create exclusive content or goodies that are solely for your program members. Perhaps you offer them a special newsletter that only goes to their email inbox and nobody else’s. Or maybe they get bonus video content of the work you’re doing for your mission.
Maybe you go a step further and even give them a T-shirt or a membership card.
Creating an exclusive community is a great way for your supporters to feel as if they are a part of something bigger than themselves (because they are!). And you should treat them as the special people they are!
And if you’re ready to kickstart your recurring giving, then be sure to check out the 7 fundamentals of a monthly giving program on our sister site, CharityHowTo.