5 errors that can sink your monthly giving program

Monthly giving is one of the keys to a successful and sustainable fundraising program. Monthly donors give more, stay longer, and do more of other things (like put you in their will).

Monthly giving doesn’t happen by itself. It takes work to get and keep these important donors.

Here’s a list of common mistakes we make with our monthly giving programs, from the Nonprofit Fundraising Blog, at Roadblocks to avoid: common mistakes in monthly giving campaigns:

  1. Failing to Clearly Communicate the Impact of Monthly Gifts. Monthly donors are like all donors: They want to know that their giving makes a difference. Don’t treat them like donation robots. Show them what you’re doing with their help. Send them newsletters and other report-back vehicles. Keep them in mind year ‘round.

  2. Not Offering a Range of Giving Levels. A reasonable amount for someone to give every month varies. It can range from a couple buck a month to $100 — and up, way up, from there. Give donors the choice to choose their amount.

  3. Neglecting to Optimize the Donation Page. One of the most common fundraising killers is online giving pages that are difficult to use. Keep yours clear, simple, and eliminate fields you don’t need to collect. Also, make sure the page reminds them what they’re on this page to do. Generic “support us” giving pages don’t do the job!

  4. Underusing Social Proof and Urgency. Make it clear that other people are doing this (social proof) and that now is the time to take action (urgency).

  5. Failing to Nurture and Retain Monthly Donors. If you lose your monthly donors as quickly as you gain them, you’re not getting the benefits of this important giving channel. Stay in touch with them. Let them know you value them (as people, not just as revenue). Find ways to increase engagement and two-way communication.


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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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