What do the most successful Monthly Giving Programs all have in common? It’s pretty simple!
Everyone knows having loyal monthly givers are good… the best, actually! But why do donors become monthly givers in the first place? Here’s how to move more donors to monthly giving.
Monthly donors. They’re the big, big win for your organization.
“How?” you may ask. Simple!
✔ Predictable source of regular support/annual revenue
✔ Cost-effective fundraising method (especially monthly givers who give automatically via their bank account)
✔ Convenient and easy for staff processing and for donors
✔ Can provide up to 25% of your annual revenue
✔ Improves donor retention
✔ Increases long-term donor value (on average, 80% of monthly donors give for 7-12 years)
✔ Expands future planned giving pipeline (nearly 25% of monthly donors make a planned gift)
Back in 2004, when monthly giving programs were more rare in the U.S., Bill Connors, Principal Fundraising Consultant for Blackbaud, wrote a white paper called, “Fundraising for the 21st Century: Implementing a Recurring Gift Program,” in which he stated:
“Fundraisers are on a search for new techniques to increase donations, build donor loyalty and add a new level of predictability while also improving operational efficiency… the concept of recurring gifts is simple: donors commit to a donation amount that is paid regularly.”
Raise more over time
The average recurring/monthly donor gives 42% more in 1 year than donors who give 1-time gifts
He was right: It is simple!
But for being simple in concept, the reality of attracting monthly givers is often a challenge. What motivates a donor who gives a few times a year to take the leap and give monthly gifts instead? What does it take to move a donor to this level of regular support?
Many organizations have given names to their giving clubs and programs and offered donors benefits for being part of the club, like the promise of less mail, additional event invitations and special recognition throughout the year.
The idea is that potential monthly givers might be drawn to join a club of like-minded people and develop social connections through membership.
That may work… for your most senior donors. In the U.S., being part of a club is still a motivational offer to those born before 1942. But for the Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials, a club is not motivating. It’s not valuable to them. So what is?
It’s simple: PERSONAL ENGAGEMENT.
Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials value being engaged on a personal level with the knowledge that they’re making a difference. They want to understand how their contributions are being used, and what their contribution does at the organization.
Based on research that Brewer Direct commissioned from Analytical Ones in 2017, the younger the age demographic, the more money they believe it takes to make a difference. Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials are more interested in how they can make an impact in your organization and want to see the results of that impact. They also understand intuitively that it takes a little bit of investment to make an impact – and that $20 doesn’t go very far. (To download our White Paper for more on this, click here.)
Empower younger donors
Though Millennials may not be ready to give larger individual gifts, 52% of them are interested in monthly giving.
So when you, as an organization, reach out to donors with an invitation to join their monthly giving club, it’s not just important, but necessary, that your offer is not simply to become part of a club doing good in your community. The offer must be more engaging on a personal level, showing the quantifiable value of how each individual donor impacts those your organization helps. In turn, this will prompt donors below age 70 to consider the very real difference they’ll make through a monthly gift.
Another simple way to motivate donors to become monthly giving partners? CONVENIENCE.
Your donors are busy. Most of them still work full-time jobs, and have families to care for as well. A convenient giving process will show them that you’ve considered how to make a long-term partnership as easy as possible for them.
The best way to do this is by providing an automatic gift option though an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), which authorizes monthly gifts to be automatically withdrawn from a donor’s bank account. It also has a benefit for your organization: Credit and debit cards expire, but bank accounts don’t!
Don’t forget the engagement component! Convenience without personal engagement won’t motivate your donors to move to monthly giving. They still need to understand how each of their automatic gifts will provide specific services and the value of those services.
Monthly giving partnerships are a great way to secure consistent donations from your lower- and middle-range donors and, more importantly, build long-term relationships with loyal supporters who share your specific vision and mission – and will give generously over time to help you accomplish them.
Here’s how to move your donors to monthly givers: Engage them on a personal level; show them how their individual contributions will make a difference at your organization through quantifiable outcomes; connect their gifts to the frontlines of your work; and offer them a convenient method to give that fits into their lifestyle. When you check all these boxes, it’s pretty simple to move your donors to become loyal monthly givers.
And, there’s even more! To download our FREE GUIDE on how to make your monthly givers the VIPs of your organization, please click here.
Does your organization need expert guidance in moving your donors to become monthly givers? Lolly can help! Get in touch with Brewer Direct’s Client Service Lead Lolly Colombo by clicking here.
Tell us what you love most about your monthly givers @brewerdirect!