How to retain monthly donors

February 19, 2024 | Categories Donor Management, DonorPerfect Fundraising Software, Featured, Fundraising Strategies, Monthly Giving

Congrats! Your monthly giving program has kicked off to a great start. Donors are resonating with your mission and have signed up to make a long-term impact. Now, you are tasked with retaining these generous donors while securing new ones. Donor retention is an ongoing challenge for nonprofits. As a fundraiser, it is important to keep donors engaged in your mission year-round so that they remain loyal supporters.

Here are some proven ways to help you keep the donors who you worked so hard to get.

How to retain recurring donors

1. Thank your monthly donors immediately

When someone signs up to be a monthly donor, thank them immediately and thank them often. Set up an easy process that works for you and your team. This might include sending a personalized thank you email the day someone becomes a monthly donor, or sending a handwritten thank you note within 2 business days. Depending on your fundraising system, you may be able to automate your receipts and thank yous. 

Thanking donors quickly will go a long way to retain them over time. Each year, on the anniversary of their monthly gift, consider calling the donor to catch up and be sure to thank them for their recurring support, especially if you are new in your role and have not interacted with this donor yet. 

2. Communicate the impact of monthly gifts regularly 

An upside to a monthly giving program is that there are always impact points to share. Every few weeks, donors are directly contributing to your annual fund, program, or a specific campaign, which means there are several opportunities to collect and communicate the impact of their gifts. Connecting with your monthly donors will offer transparency on how their dollars are being used and they will feel good about making a difference year-round. 

One way to communicate impact is to work with your team to create infographics or other visuals and email them to donors quarterly. These graphics can highlight measurable accomplishments, such as funds raised for a program, number of families helped, or volunteers supported, all made possible by monthly donors. Donors are very busy and graphics are an easy and fun way to demonstrate impact. 

3. Offer flexible monthly giving amount options 

We know some people are not good with long-term commitments! As a fundraiser, you are skilled with working with donors to keep them plugged in to your mission, especially when they might need to adjust the amount they are giving to your organization on a monthly or annual basis. 

One way to help your donors out is to offer the ability to pause or adjust their monthly giving amount to a lower level, or downgrade. Sometimes, donors think they have to give at a certain amount to participate in a program, but if they can give $10 per month versus $30, they will likely keep donating rather than canceling. If a donor does need to cancel their monthly gift, be sure to express how grateful you are for their support. They will remember this act of kindness when they consider future engagement. 

How to Create a Monthly Giving Donation Form that Converts E-book mockup

Need help with your monthly giving form? Get best practices and learn how you can convert more donors in this free resource.

4. Keep your monthly giving program fresh 

As your organization and programs change to meet the needs of those you serve, your monthly giving program should evolve as well. Updating your monthly giving program over time will help it remain fresh and relevant. This will attract new donors and will resonate with current donors, inspiring them to continue to make recurring gifts. 

One way to do this is to reflect the impact donors will make with their monthly gift. For example, if a monthly donor of $25 helped an organization feed three animals in a shelter per month, but now it supports six, that’s a great way to reflect progress to donors. This method also keeps the original intent of current monthly donors’ gifts in mind. While reimagining how your monthly giving program is advertised will keep it fresh so donors remain interested. 

donorperfect forms monthly giving options

When it comes to payment processing for recurring monthly gifts, trust is important.  DonorPerfect Automatic Monthly Giving provides donors with security and flexibility.

Once you have acquired monthly donors, you must work hard to retain them. Keep your donors engaged with your mission with strong stewardship and cultivation practices and they will continue to support your organization for years to come. Donor engagement is very important and there are many ways to communicate with them in a meaningful way. 

Download the Monthly
Giving Success Kit

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Meet the author: Chaz Runfola

Chaz is a senior fundraising consultant dedicated to helping nonprofits achieve their missions. With more than ten years of donor engagement and fundraising experience, Chaz has led diverse development initiatives, with emphases on strategic donor communications and…

Learn more about Chaz Runfola


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