Launch a Successful Monthly Giving Program in 9 Simple Steps

January 11, 2024 | Categories Donor Management, DonorPerfect Fundraising Software, Featured, Fundraising Strategies, Monthly Giving, Nonprofit Technology

Elevate your nonprofit with the transformative impact of a monthly giving program. Incorporating recurring giving into your overall fundraising strategy, can drive sustainable financial growth, foster increased donor loyalty, and establish a deeper connection with your community. 

Why start a monthly giving program?

Nonprofits often benefit from a blend of high-dollar donors and monthly givers. Recurring donors contribute more over consecutive years compared to one-time donors, providing your organization with a stream of consistent, predictable income. On average, supporters engaged in recurring donations give 42% more annually, allowing for reliable budgeting and enhanced program planning. Follow this step-by-step guide to kickstart your monthly giving initiative. 

Step 1: Get board and team member buy-in

Before delving into the specifics of your monthly giving program, secure the support of your team, including the executive director and board of directors. Clearly communicate the significance of recurring givers as a vital source of income and an area for growth. Demonstrate the program’s value by estimating potential benefits, highlighting its positive impact on donor retention, and its ability to boost annual giving amounts.

Step 2: Designate a monthly giving program leader

Appoint a dedicated team member to lead your monthly giving initiative. Regardless of your nonprofit’s size, having one individual oversee your recurring donor program facilitates seamless coordination, encourages cross-department collaboration, and instills a sense of accountability. 

Step 3: Establish program codes and goals

Create a series of codes in your fundraising system, taking into account the solicitation appeal and the channel through which the appeal was sent (direct mail, email, or social).

Set specific and measurable goals for your monthly giving program. Determine the outcomes you aim to achieve and how they contribute to your fundraising strategy. Here are some key metrics to help shape your program goals:

Step 4: Choose a distinctive program name

Give your monthly giving program a unique identity by selecting a meaningful name that aligns with your mission. Hold a brainstorming session to foster creativity and emphasize the importance of treating these loyal supporters as VIPs. 

Step 5: Determine gift processing procedures

Decide how you will handle monthly donations, whether through credit or debit cards or bank accounts to accommodate donor preferences. Integrate a monthly giving option in your general online donation form, setting it as the default choice to encourage participation. For targeted outreach, create a dedicated recurring giving-only page, excluding one-time donations, for use in email and social media campaigns. 

Present your donors with a cause worth supporting. Illustrate the impact of their donation by showcasing tangible outcomes, such as providing a child with warm boots for the cold weather. Identify four to five specific ways in which donors can make a difference, and incorporate that message into your donation form.

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Among DonorPerfect users, 80% of recurring donors prefer the convenience of giving by credit or debit card. With DonorPerfect’s Account Updater, you receive timely notifications for expiring or failed card transactions, ensuring you never miss out on any generous gifts!

Step 6: Identify your monthly donors

Identify prospective candidates within your current donor base. Those already familiar with your organization and present in your constituent relationship management system (CRM) will be more likely to get involved. Segment individuals based on consistent giving, review donation patterns, analyze communication engagement, consider survey responses, and take into account personal interactions. 

Monthly giving program participants are often small-amount donors, frequently on a fixed income. While they may not be able to write big checks, their consistent support can help sustain your organization.

Step 7: Make the ask!

Now that you’ve identified your potential monthly givers, inspire them to contribute regularly. Capitalize on their existing connection to your cause by sending a personalized email with a link to your updated donation form that features a recurring giving option.

Step 8: Cultivate meaningful connections

Express gratitude for the loyal support of your monthly givers, ensuring they feel valued and appreciated for their ongoing commitment. Tailor your messages with a distinct tone specifically for this group, thinking about other ways to set them apart from your other donors. Consider inviting your monthly donors to special events or recognizing them in your annual report.

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Step 9: Measure your success

Analyze your data and measure the success of your monthly giving program in accordance with the goals you established earlier. Assess your key performance indicators, and make necessary adjustments to improve your program’s effectiveness. Consistent monitoring and adaptation ensure your initiative remains aligned with your organizational objectives.

Invest in long-term impact

Recurring giving programs simplify the donation process for supporters, allowing them to give at a comfortable level and stay connected to your organization longer. Launching a monthly giving program requires careful planning, commitment, and effective communication. By following these steps and leveraging the right tools, you can create a successful program that not only sustains your organization but also deepens the connection between your donors and your mission. 

We recognize that finding the time to formulate your plan can be challenging. That’s why we’ve created the comprehensive Monthly Giving Success Kit — available for download below — to guide you at every stage of the process.

Download your Monthly Giving Success Kit

Janell Lewis DonorPerfect Content Writer
Meet the author: Janell Lewis

Janell joined the DonorPerfect marketing and communications team in 2023. With over 15 years working in the nonprofit realm, she’s navigated many roles from public relations and fundraising to media relations and website management. Her commitment to nonprofits traces back to early in her life…

Learn more about Janell Lewis

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