I’ve been in small nonprofits where after the funding fundraising event, we celebrated, and then a few weeks later things got tense again because we needed the next fundraiser for more cash. I remember working for a big nonprofit and the rush we got when there was a huge infusion of cash from the fundraising appeal or event. But in between fundraising appeals and events, we didn’t worry about funding – not because there was plenty of money – but because we knew we had income coming in each month in addition to the other sources. We had a monthly giving program.
It was a night and day difference in how we handled the in-between times. There wasn’t a feeling of crisis mode in the larger organization because of the monthly giving program.
This is one of those low-cost, no-cost solutions that small nonprofits can take advantage of that they probably didn’t think about. Monthly giving programs can help you stay out of crisis mode and out of the event hamster wheel.
What Is This Magical Fundraising Strategy Known as The Monthly Giving Program?
A donor is able to give a specified amount to the organization(s) of their choice automatically every month. Generally, the automatic donation is sent to the organization on a monthly basis, often times by software that is made specifically for that reason.
What Are the Advantages to a Monthly Giving Program?
There are many reasons you need to have a monthly giving program in place. Besides the obvious increase it will provide to your organization’s annual income, it will help further strengthen long term relationships with your donors. The value of their support can last a lifetime!
Because donations are given automatically on a monthly basis, a monthly donor program can reduce the number of hands-on fundraising activities. This frees up the time that is spent planning and putting on fundraising events. By having recurring donations in your budget, you can focus more time on furthering your mission.
Some other advantages to a monthly giving program are:
- Donor retention rates for monthly giving programs on average is 43% but can be much higher. This means that year after year, you will retain more of your donors.
- Giving monthly for a total of 12 times a year means that donors will typically donate more by the end of the year vs giving one yearly donation. Sending a $25.00 donation monthly tends to be less noticeable for donors, rather than writing one $400.00 check at the end of the year.
- Maintaining the donor program can be simple. Donors can be offered an easy process of entering their information only one time, adding their monthly donation amount and the fundraising software takes care of it from then on. Monthly donors also have been found to donate on a recurring basis for 5-7 years. Just think of the impact you can make with even just a few monthly donors!
Got Tech Concerns?
There are a number of software solutions that can handle recurring payments. My choice is Givebox. It is a powerful tool with many features. What is different is that Givebox is the payment processor which means you get a merchant account and they don’t hold your funds. It is also free for nonprofits so there is no excuse to not start your monthly giving program.
Nonprofit Nation is opening up soon and monthly giving programs will be a topic of conversation. Join the Nonprofit Nation’s Fundraising Success Path Facebook group for more information on the membership.