A monthly giving program is a recurring donation plan that allows individuals to set up monthly donations to your nonprofit.

This fundraising strategy is ideal for any sized nonprofit, charity, faith or education organization, local community group or club, or other institution that relies on donations and wants to increase revenue.

Although in the past accepting monthly donations from donors was common among global nonprofits, the pandemic has seen many smaller charities also adopting this trend. There are many benefits to recurring donations, both for nonprofits, and for donors.

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With the majority of in-person events canceled over the last couple of years, it’s no secret that many nonprofits have struggled with fundraising. Reports have shown that up to 90% of nonprofits have seen a dip in income, with up to 70% turning to the digital realm to help innovate their revenue streams.

A monthly giving program, that encourages donors to sign up online is quickly becoming a must for nonprofits big and small, helping to replace some of that lost pre-covid revenue. It’s also important to note that, according to Network for Good, donors who make recurring donations give on average 42% more per year than one-time donors – a win-win for your nonprofit.
Stability of Income

As well as increasing revenue, recurring giving can also improve the stability of your nonprofit’s income. Knowing how much you can expect in donations each month can help you plan campaigns, improve your budgeting, and strategize for the future.

Monthly giving programs have shown to have higher retention rates – typically over 80% after one year and 95% after five years. However, new donor retention rates average less than 23%.

There are numerous reasons why this is the case. Firstly, setting up a monthly donation is a quick process for a donor, and then can be left alone, taking up no more time, attention, or effort.

If you run an effective campaign around your giving program, donors will also feel like they are part of a strong like-minded community, and understand the importance of their contribution. This means they are less likely to cancel their recurring donation.

Lastly, by gifting a monthly amount, donors themselves can give sustainably, budgeting for a sum that is affordable for them on a regular basis.

So now you can see the benefits of implementing a monthly giving program for your nonprofit, let’s next look at how to get started…

Planning out the strategy for your monthly giving program is key to its success. You need specific goals in mind for your program – once you know what you want to achieve you can plan accordingly.

Firstly, think about how the program will fit in with the rest of your nonprofit’s strategy. For example:

  • What do you want to accomplish through monthly giving?
  • What would that mean for your programs and mission?

Once you are clear on a high-level vision for your monthly giving program, set measurable targets that you can plan for and track. These could include aiming to attract a set number of new donors each month, or focusing on driving a certain amount of income through your program over the first year.

Once you have your monthly giving program set up, the last step is to promote it. Follow these top tips to help drive donations…

  • Create a strong campaign – Branding your monthly giving program and creating a dynamic campaign around it will be crucial to its success. Think carefully about the name of the program and create powerful taglines, attention-grabbing visuals, and engaging videos that all work together to show potential donors just what their money can do.
  • Start with your email list – people who have already donated in the past or shown an interest in your nonprofit should be your first port of call when trying to grow donor numbers. Send out targeted emails to encourage people to set up monthly donations and include mentions of the program in content such as newsletters.
  • Social media – Use social media to not only engage with your current community, but to also reach a whole new audience. Paid ads and a well-planned out organic social strategy will help to drive interest in your campaign and boost recurring donations.
  • Offer incentives – Give back to your donors by offering a signup gift, or ongoing perks like discounts on products in your shop, first refusal on tickets to events, or access to exclusive content. If people feel like their donation is being appreciated they will be more likely to not just set up a recurring donation, but also to stick around for the long haul.

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