Just like retention is important with regular donors, it’s even more vital for monthly donors. That’s why we put together this special e-book to help you with your monthly donor retention process.
Erica Waasdorp has been managing monthly donor programs for almost 30 years. She has worked with nonprofits, small, mid-size and large, to start, review, grow and upgrade their monthly giving programs. Monthly donors provide that sustainable revenue you need to continue to serve the children, animals, clients you help. Keeping your monthly donors once you bring them on is even more crucial.
The Nonprofit Library is here to help you make your life as a fundraiser easier with easy to use tools, and hopefully this e-book is no exception. So, let’s dive right in.
A Sneak Peak Into The Top 10 Tips on How to Keep your Monthly Donors
Take an Inside the Chapters of This Ebook:
Tip 1: Keep the Value of Monthly Donors Top of Mind
Monthly gifts keep coming in, rain or shine! They’re providing you with that extra insurance policy for your organization’s operating budget. In fact, right now, they’re the level of donors who are still growing and while small, they are really very powerful little nuggets that are in your database.
Monthly donors are important for your organization, because:…
Tip 2: Don’t Keep Your Monthly Donors Waiting. Steward them early!
three years. She signed up on the street, and that was that—no phone call, no thank-you letter, no email, no newsletter, nothing since then! Well, after this had been going on for three years, she called them up and said: “Enough is enough. While $10 a month is not a big amount, it’s all I can afford right now. I’m going to cancel because, clearly, you don’t care!”
Pretty sad, eh? Unfortunately, this was the ‘old thinking’ of some organization. They thought that once someone signed on as a monthly donor, they didn’t need to communicate with them any longer. That’s a myth!…
Tip 3: Be as Committed to Your Monthly Donors as They are to YOU
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines Commitment as follows: a promise to do or give something. A promise to be loyal to someone or something. The attitude of someone who works very hard to do or support something.
Monthly donor commitment isn’t necessarily easy. It’s hard work. There are two different kinds of commitment in monthly giving: organization and donor…
Tip 4: ACT Before Monthly Donors Leave
One of the biggest challenges with monthly donor retention is caused by expiring credit cards. When that happens it’s very important to remember the following: The donors did not call you to cancel their commitment! They want to continue giving monthly!
They may have just received their new card and don’t realize that their monthly gift doesn’t continue unless they give you the updated information. Or their card may have been compromised and they simply didn’t remember to let you know…
Tip 5: Add Credit Card Account Updater
In addition to the activities in tip 4, it’s important to know that there is a solution you can implement for very little money. It works in the backend and can find updated information for some 15 to 25 percent of your cards. That’s 15 to 25 percent of donors you do not have to contact–the money keeps coming in…
Tip 6: Encourage Electronic Funds Transfers
In the U.S., people are more comfortable using credit cards rather than automatic bank withdrawals (also called Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or ACH. But that is changing rapidly especially because it means that you will not have to deal with expired cards and credit card fees any longer. It’s safer, you’ll save money and time and you’ll improve monthly donor retention. It’s now also a lot easier to set up than in the past…
Tip 7: Test Call Your Organization
This tip may sound silly, but it really is not. If you’re a small organization with consistent volunteers answering the phones you may not have any problems. But if you’re a bigger nonprofit with several folks it might be a bigger challenge…
Tip 8: Ensure You and Your Staff are Passionate about Monthly Giving
Nonprofits never cease to amaze me. Sometimes in a good way. Sometimes in a not so good way. This is one of those sad case studies.
I spoke to an organization recently, and its executive director told me they wanted to grow their monthly donor program—at least, that’s what he said at first. They have some 500 sustainers who are worth more than $500,000, so they are very high average gifts…
Tip 9: Review Your Join and Retention Processes
As a fundraiser, you work hard every day to make sure your donors feel important.
You know like no other that all donors need to feel appreciated, no matter how much they give or how often they donate to your organization. That’s why I’m still amazed at how difficult this seems to be, especially as organizations grow. Especially if there are multiple “cooks in the kitchen.”
Often decisions are made based upon resources…
Tip 10: Look at Your Numbers
When it comes to retention, it’s especially important to look at your numbers. How many donors are you losing? How many monthly donors are you reactivating? That helps determine how many monthly donors you need to bring in to grow your program…
To Keep Reading
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