Here’s a quick start for a great monthly-giving program

Book Review: How to Create Lifelong Donors through Monthly Giving by Harvey McKinnon

Lifelongdonors

If you aren’t actively working to get monthly donors, you aren’t really doing sustainable and meaningful fundraising.

Monthly donors, major donors, and bequests are what make a fundraising program a profitable enterprise. And of the three, monthly is the easiest one to build.

But don’t get the idea it’s easy. It’s not.

That’s why you need to read this book.

It is a simple, fact-based, no-nonsense guide, from one of our industry greats.

It’s a quick read — you can get through the whole book in one sitting. But it’s not thin on details.

What should you call your monthly giving program? Read chapter 10.

How much should you ask for? Chapter 14.

How do you get those monthly donors? Chapter 15-20.

Can you ask monthly donors for even more? Chapter 33.

You get the picture. It’s all there.

And, to show you how relentlessly practical and useful this book is, here’s Harvey’s list of reasons organizations’ monthly giving programs fail:

  1. You don’t give individuals a clear reason to join your program.
  2. Your donors or members don’t feel special.
  3. You failed to use powerful writing that focuses on the donor.
  4. You make it complicated to join.
  5. You don’t test offers, price, and premiums.
  6. You don’t invest money to grow the program.
  7. You don’t hire people with the skills to grow your program.
  8. You don’t analyze your donor segments.
  9. You don’t focus on lifetime value.
  10. You don’t tell donors how their gifts make a difference.
  11. You don’t have a retention program in place.
  12. You don’t immediately renew upcoming or lapsed credit card donors.
  13. You don’t invite members to special events or to participate in other activities.
  14. You don’t attempt to upgrade sustainers on an annual basis.
  15. You neglect to inspire an internal sense of urgency around monthly giving.
  16. You fail to use all the channels you can to promote monthly giving.
  17. You don’t solicit emergency gifts from monthly donors.
  18. You don’t talk to sustainers about legacies.
  19. You forgot to renew recurring donors who made a twelve­month or three-year pledge.

This list alone could change the financial future of your organization. And this book is packed with information like this.

Whether you’re just starting to consider monthly giving for the first time, or a long-time veteran and you want to up your game, read this book!

Available at Amazon or from the publisher.


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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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About the blogger

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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