How (and when) to get monthly donors

One of the best ways to keep donors is to sign them on as monthly donors. When you do that, their yearly retention rate typically goes up above 90% — that’s two or three times retention rate of typical donors.

Here’s some help from the Virtuous Blog on moving donors into monthly giving, at Why Donors Lapse and How You Can Stop It.

Some of the best times to ask people to give monthly are:


  • In January/February.
  • After a first-time donation.
  • After an email sign up.

That’s the when. Here’s a how: I’ve learned that there are two basic kinds of monthly donor:


  1. Those who can be persuaded to give monthly because it is in some way better (more exciting, more impactful, etc.) than not.
  2. Those who give monthly because that works for them.

Think of it this way: Some donors are willing to sign up as monthly givers in order to get more excitement and connection. Others do it to get less.

To the first group, your winning pitch will be one that emphasizes ease, convenience, and efficiency.

To the second group, focus on something wonderful they’ll get from you and/or the amazing difference they’ll make as monthly donors. (Think child sponsorship.)

Of course, these two motivations can overlap. But most donors are a lot more one kind than the other. It helps to focus your pitch on one of these approaches at a time. Some organizations have an ease/convenience monthly giving program and a separate “exciting” monthly giving programs. Some organizations have a single program but emphasize a different set of benefits in different settings.

If you don’t have a monthly giving program, get started now!


Comments

2 responses to “How (and when) to get monthly donors”

  1. It’s always important to target why people give. Once you have addressed the why you can figure out how you’re going to attract them. The what then is just the action you do at the end. Don’t lead with the what, always lead with the why.

  2. It’s always important to target why people give. Once you have addressed the why you can figure out how you’re going to attract them. The what then is just the action you do at the end. Don’t lead with the what, always lead with the why.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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