3 Simple Tips to Create a Successful Monthly Giving Program

Are you always trying to reinvent your donor base? Do you want to find a new, stable source of income that also works as a loyalty booster to existing donors? Three words: Monthly Giving Program.

As a fundraiser, you probably know the benefits of monthly giving, like reducing your fundraising costs; building a better relationship with your donors, which keeps them giving longer; increasing the lifetime value of your donors; and providing a stable, ongoing source of income for your organization. But creating a monthly giving program or revamping your existing one to excite donors can be a challenge. Here are three tips to create (or re-create) a meaningful, successful monthly giving program.

1. Create a visual monthly giving program brand

Make your monthly giving program appeal to your supporters by creating a unique monthly brand that is relevant to the experience of the individual. Instead of asking people to be a monthly donor, ask them to join your Give Hope for Life program (Canadian Cancer Society Saskatchewan), or become an Animal Defender (Humane Society International). Eventually, you’ll want to create spin-off brands that appeal to your supporters’ specific interests. If you are going to use a premium, make it relevant, passionate, and something that your supporters will value. Create unique benefits and exclusivity around being a monthly donor, again, ensuring that they’re desirable for supporters.

2. Use all communication channels to promote your monthly giving program

If you want your monthly giving program to be successful, you need to use multiple channels to reach out to all types of supporters and prospective supporters. For example, to convert event participants to monthlies, use face-to-face at the actual event, and email and telephone to follow-up. You can insert a leaflet about monthly giving into a direct mail package and promote your new program in your newsletter. For online, ensure that you have a donation form that makes monthly giving upfront and important. The worst thing you can do is hide or bury your monthly giving program.

3. You have to Ask

Asking someone to become a monthly donor isn’t the same as telling them about your program. Whatever channel(s) you’re using—face-to-face, telephone, direct mail, online—your message needs to be compelling, relevant and direct. Don’t be shy about soliciting monthly gifts first!

Of course, you need to honour promises and steward your monthlies. It’s easy for people to cancel their donations if they stop feeling good about them, and there could be another organization with an equally important cause competing for your monthly donors.

Written by: Cynthia Foster, fundraising copywriter and creative consultant at hjc, a fundraising consultancy helping nonprofits raise more money online. April, 2013.

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