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The 2 Tips to Develop Recurring Donations

The 2 Tips to Develop Recurring Donations

Making the Most of Donor Relations

Today, the advantages monthly givers bring, as outlined last time, are much better appreciated by the average American organization than they were back in 2004.  

The logical follow-up question then becomes: How do you convert a one-time or sporadic donor into one who will reliably make contributions each month?

The Personal Touch

One approach that has worked in the past is to induce monthly giving by admitting such donors into an exclusive club with benefits such as receiving less mail from your organization, special invites to events and some form of recognition for their generosity.

The problem is that while those born more than 70 years ago do find value in networking among a group of people with the same interests, incentives for Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials lie elsewhere.

This leads us to the first point in turning the average donor into a recurring one: the proper motivation lies in personal engagement. Those born post-1945 want to know that their specific involvement with your organization is making a difference somewhere: How is their contribution being used? Where is it going? Who benefited?

A study done by Brewer Direct through Analytical Ones last year suggests the younger the demographic, the more money they feel is needed to make an impact. Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials who donate want to see the fruit of their contribution. They also tend to realize that making a positive change in the world takes a serious investment.

Further, Millennials seem to lean towards monthly giving – just over half of them look favorably on doing so, even if they are unwilling to give a larger one-time donation.

The invitation to become part of a social club is simply not enough anymore to interest most potential donors to give on a regular basis, even if they know implicitly it is for a good cause.  Personal engagement regarding how exactly their gift is going to help your organization is key. Being personally connected to how their gift met a tangible need is often all it takes for a donor to take that step from one-time to monthly giver.

One-Stop Giving

Donors these days appreciate not only the personalization of giving but also being able to do so conveniently. Those organizations that realize their donors have their own lives and busy schedules should vie to make the giving process as easy as it can be – and donors are likely to show how they appreciate your consideration by signing up for recurring gifts.

How do you streamline the giving process? A tried and tested means of doing so is through Electronic Funds Transfer (or EFT), which lets donors connect your organization’s website to their own bank account, meaning they will have little work to do month to month. There’s no monthly hassle in writing checks, addressing envelopes, using expensive postage or entering credit or debit card information.

Thus, marrying convenient giving with personal engagement is the most effective means of converting those sporadic givers into loyal recurring donors with whom your organization is likely to have a beneficial long-term relationship.

Monthly donations are much more than another means of funding your organization – they give you the flexibility to plan for the future of your organization and may well result in more funding in the long run. You need to entice donors, however, by showing them tangible results and making them feel as though they are making a difference, an angle you should be pursuing with all your donors anyway.

-Lolly Colombo

VP Client Service

Brewer Direct Marketing - Photo of Lolly Colombo

For 30 years, Lolly has been on the front lines with some of the most recognizable charities such as The Salvation Army, Operation Blessing International, CBN and others. Lolly brings a wealth of experience in direct response, Spanish marketing and broadcast to make her an invaluable asset when it comes to serving her clients’ fundraising needs.