5 Best Nonprofit Monthly Giving Program Examples

Here are a few monthly giving program examples to help you gather ideas for your nonprofit's program.

Earning revenue from a variety of sources helps stabilize your nonprofit’s finances. Growing your monthly giving program in particular fosters a reliable revenue stream that can carry your organization through challenging times.

According to the M+R Benchmarks study, monthly giving increased by 24% in 2021 and accounted for 22% of all online revenue. These programs give nonprofit supporters a way to spread out their giving over time, which can be easier on their finances than contributing a single larger gift. Recurring donations also empower nonprofits with a sustainable revenue source to fund ongoing projects and programs.

If you’re building up your organization’s monthly giving program, looking at best practices and examples from other nonprofits can help guide you. We’ll review some of those tips in this guide:

As you move through each tip and example, note the program elements you think will work best for your nonprofit’s audience.

Tips for starting your monthly giving program

If your nonprofit already has a solid online donation process, you can simply add an option on your donation page for supporters to make a recurring donation. While that will be a simple update, you’ll need to spend some time strategizing how you’ll promote monthly giving to your donor base to encourage supporters to sign up for your program.

Follow these tips to get your program and marketing campaign up and running:

  1. Focus your marketing efforts on current supporters. While you should promote your monthly giving program to all of your supporters, it’s best to focus your marketing efforts on targeting existing donors rather than prospective donors. That’s because it’s easier to engage individuals who have already shown an interest in supporting your cause.
  2. Develop your monthly giving case for support. When you promote your monthly giving program, explain how making a monthly gift supports your mission. For example, it’s much more compelling to say that making a $25 monthly donation would allow your nonprofit to provide school supplies to 50 students than just asking your supporters to sign up to donate $25 every month. If you’re going to use the revenue from the monthly giving program to cover your everyday operating expenses, give an example of what that looks like. Would it help you literally keep the lights on by covering the electric bill for your office? Would it provide the funds needed to hire paid interns? Whatever it is, let your supporters know. Showing how they can provide your nonprofit with a sustainable revenue source will get them even more invested in your cause.
  3. Explain the benefits of joining your program. Let potential monthly donors know about any program benefits, such as shout outs in your monthly newsletter, free merchandise, or invites to exclusive events.
  4. Include a monthly giving option on your donation form. Make it easy for donors to turn their one-time contribution into a monthly gift with just the click of a button on your online donation page.
  5. Reach out directly to potential monthly donors. Use your donor management software to identify long-time donors, annual donors, and other engaged supporters who would be likely candidates to join your monthly giving program. Then reach out to these supporters with information about joining your program, including the impact and benefits.

Make sure your monthly giving program also includes a comprehensive strategy for showing appreciation for your recurring donors. As you would for other donations, send them an automated thank you email every time you process a donation. Incorporate other appreciation efforts such as sending handwritten thank you notes or calling donors on the phone to express your appreciation for their generosity. This shows recurring donors that you recognize and appreciate their ongoing support.

How to name your monthly giving program

Keep your nonprofit’s branding and story in mind when brainstorming a name for your monthly giving program. These tips can help you come up with the right name:

  • Make sure the name is consistent with your organization’s brand. Think about images, colors, or themes that are associated with your branding. Would any of these elements make sense as the name of your monthly giving program?
  • Make sure the name is different from your organization’s name. You don’t want your giving program’s name to be exactly the same as your nonprofit’s name because you’re looking to differentiate the two and provide a sense of exclusivity for your monthly giving program participants.
  • Think about the story you want to tell with your giving program. How can your giving program’s name reflect that story? Make sure the name evokes both tangible and intangible images that connect your donors with your mission.
  • Emphasize the partnership between your monthly donors and your organization’s mission. How can you make them feel like they’re important collaborators?

Your giving program’s name will be an important part of branding the program and increasing its recognition. Make sure the name you choose is memorable and descriptive. You can even workshop the name among staff members or long-time supporters to gather input.

5 excellent monthly giving program examples

Here are some examples of our favorite monthly giving programs, including what we think they did well.

1. To Write Love on Her Arms: TWLOHA BlueTWLOHA Blue is an effective monthly giving program example because of how they clearly showcase donor impact on the monthly giving page.

Source: TWLOHA

Why this monthly giving program name is effective

We love that TWLOHA shares the meaning of their program name right on their donation page: “From the blue stitches on the first TWLOHA T-shirt, the color our team calls ‘TWLOHA Blue’ has become a powerful reminder to stay true to our mission, knowing what’s at stake.”

The name comes from one of the organization’s brand colors, providing a tangible image that the donors will be familiar with. For your monthly giving program, look at your logo, brand colors, and fonts. Does a visual or color come to mind that’s consistent with your mission?

What we think they did well

TWLOHA sets a public goal and tracks progress on the giving program page with a fundraising thermometer. We recommend setting a goal—even if you don’t make it public—so you can gather data, track your progress, and adjust your tactics in the future.

Also, by listing the number of TWLOHA Blue members and including their names on the page, the organization invites new supporters to become part of a community while showing appreciation for existing monthly donors. You may not want to list numbers or names on your giving program page, but the more you can do to make the supporter feel like they’re part of something important and exclusive, the better.

The TWLOHA Blue monthly giving program offers plenty of perks to members.
Source: TWLOHA

Another way the organization makes members feel special is by incentivizing them to donate. Members receive additional perks based on their giving levels, all of which tie back to the organization’s brand. They receive monthly updates from the team, perks on their birthday, discount codes to the organization’s online store, and a TWLOHA Blue Partners Coin.

Finally, we like that TWLOHA created a short tagline for their program: help hope go farther. It’s a simple but strong reminder of what donors’ support means for those in need.

charity: water: The Spring

charity: water’s monthly giving program brings donors together to help those in need access clean water.
Source: charity: water

Why this monthly giving program name is effective

“The Spring” brings to mind the tangible image of building wells and bringing water to underdeveloped areas. Powerful names combine tangible images and the intangible emotions that come with those images.

Think about your organization’s work. Are there any tangible images that could serve as your giving program’s name? What feelings might the image bring to mind for the donor?

What we think they did well

On their giving page, charity: water has strong visuals that immediately grab the supporter’s attention and remind them how important their support is. If you have photos or videos that tell your nonprofit’s story, this would be a great place to include them!

The organization uses this page to educate the donor on their history and mission while talking about how the giving program ties into the organization’s work.

By inviting supporters to sign up to receive a monthly impact report, they’re encouraging the donor to get more invested and take an active role in the mission. There’s also the powerful message of “You belong here,” which is followed by photos and testimonials of other people who have joined The Spring.

charity: water is a top monthly giving program example because it uses strong visuals and imagery to evoke empathy among donors.
Source: charity: water

They also note that the community includes people from more than 100 countries. And, perhaps the most important thing charity: water does is state the impact of different giving levels on the nonprofit’s overall mission. For example, the page explains that a $40 monthly donation allows 12 people access to clean water for a year.

She’s the First: The Front Row

The Front Row is an effective monthly giving program example because their program directly connects with the organization’s educational initiatives.
Source: She’s The First

Why this monthly giving program name is effective

When we asked Henah Parikh, the former Development and Communications Manager for She’s the First, about the name of She’s the First’s giving program, she said, “Our work chiefly supports girls’ education and rights, and so we wanted to play with that ‘classroom’ theme a bit. Commonly, students who sit in the front row are usually the most engaged, and that paralleled nicely with our monthly donor community.”

The Front Row is an image that connects directly with She’s the First’s education initiatives. It also has a meaning beyond the image that creates an emotional connection with the donors and invites them to engage with the organization’s mission. How can the name of your program invite your donors to feel engaged and invested in your work?

What we think they did well

She’s the First has given each donation level a name. For example, donors who give more than $100 per month to the organization are called Girl Champions. Other donor level names include Equality Advocates, Academic Ally, and Monthly Changemakers.

This is an example of the giving levels available within the She’s the First monthly giving program.
Source: She’s The First

By listing the names of each donor under their donor level, they’re illuminating the community that prospective donors can join when they sign up to give monthly.

You can learn more about how they got started, how they promote the program, and what advice they have for other nonprofits in our She’s the First interview.

Doctors Without Borders: Field Partners

Doctors Without Borders makes it easy to join their monthly giving program by computer, phone, or mail.
Source: Doctors Without Borders

Why this monthly giving program name is effective

By calling monthly donors Field Partners, Doctors Without Borders sends the message that donors are just as important to their work as the members of their own organization. In short, Doctors Without Borders couldn’t do the work they do without their monthly donors’ support.

Consider extending the name of your giving program to your monthly donors too. What can you call them that will make them feel even more ownership of your mission? How can you make them feel like partners in your work?

What we think they did well

The Doctors Without Borders giving program page breaks out each donation tier based on the impact it will have and includes information on how donations make a difference in the organization’s work.

The Doctors Without Borders monthly giving program page highlights the impact of giving at different levels.
Source: Doctors Without Borders

Doctors Without Borders also embedded a video thanking donors on that page, which is one more way of showing how much they appreciate those who support their mission.

WWF: WWF Heroes and Partners in Conservation

WWF Heroes and Partners in Conservation are effective monthly giving program names that convey the organization’s gratitude to donors.

Why this monthly giving program name is effective

WWF’s regular monthly donors are known as WWF Heroes, a name that places donors as the protagonists of the conservation story. The organization takes its monthly giving initiative a step further with its Partners in Conservation program. This is the name for donors who contribute annual gifts of $1,000 or more or monthly gifts of $100 or more.

By calling major recurring donors Partners in Conservation, WWF achieves a similar effect as Doctors Without Borders does. The organization lets donors know that their contributions are so significant that they are part of an exclusive group of individuals who are working toward tangible change.

How can you use your monthly giving program name to place donors at the center of your mission? Giving recurring donors this sense of prominence shows them that your organization deeply values their gifts.

What we think they did well

WWF makes its giving program’s benefits clear. Monthly donors enjoy perks such as a free quarterly magazine, calendar, and exclusive member email updates. Partners in Conservation receive additional benefits such as direct access to speak to a personal WWF liaison and invitations to webinars and a partners symposium in Washington, D.C.

WWF is a great monthly giving program example because they highlight plenty of benefits for recurring donors.

Many of your monthly giving program donors give because they’re passionate about your cause and want to show their support. However, highlighting your program’s additional benefits can help donors feel even more satisfied with their decision to give and help them form stronger ties with your organization by attending member events and other exclusive opportunities.

Wrapping up

Hopefully you were able to identify elements from these monthly giving program examples that will help you create or update your organization’s program. Looking for additional resources? The ones we share here can also help you build an engaging giving program that allows you to carry out your mission for years to come:

Schedule a live demo with our partner Bloomerang, and we’ll show you how easy it is to create and automate reports, utilize online and offline fundraising tools, quickly integrate and access all your data, and ultimately create more time to engage your donors.


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