Saturday, August 10, 2013

Fundraising Tip: How to Turn One-Time Donors Into Monthly Givers

The BDPA Education and Technology Foundation currently is supported almost exclusively by one-time donors. We have very few monthly givers. As such, I was very interested in a fundraising tip shared recently by the folks at Network for Good.

Thinking about monthly giving is one of the smartest things you can do as a fundraiser. Network for Good research shows that 30-40% of the donation volume for a nonprofit website is monthly giving, and that would be a great situation to find all nonprofits in -- thanking people every month instead of asking them for donations every few weeks.

How do you do that? How do you turn your annual givers into monthly supporters?
  • Make sure your donation form asks what type of gift the donor wants to make ("Do you want to give us a monthly gift?"). Whenever you're asking for money, ask for the monthly pledge, not just a one-time gift.
  • Revisit the language you're using in your appeals. Frame your ask in such a way that it's a win-win situation-monthly donations for you, convenience and budgeting for your donors. (Read more about the four parts of a great fundraising appeal.)
  • Package the appeal in an exciting way. For example, some organizations have an ambassador program or a sponsor-a-child every month program. Put a face on that sustainable gift. This way you're creating some tangible tie to the idea of giving every month. Remember: To increase charitable donations, you should appeal to the heart--not the head.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for a monthly gift of support after someone completes a one-time transaction. It can be ingrained as a nice thank-you message: "Thank you so much for making a one-time gift. This is how you can put your support to work for us each and every month. Would you consider becoming a monthly supporter?" We've seen great success in converting first-time online donors into monthly donors by doing that within the first three days of them making their first online gift.
Think of using this strategy during the holidays when you're experiencing high traffic of one-time gift donations!

Does this tip seem like one that you might use for your local chapter or nonprofit? If not, do you have a fundraising tip that you would like to share with us?

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