Nine Tips for a Successful Monthly Giving Program

Contributing coins to a monthly saving jar.

What is a monthly giving program?

A monthly giving program is a donation plan that allows donors to choose a specified amount they wish to contribute each month. The recurring donations are deducted automatically, and can be set up for a predetermined amount of time, with or without automatic rollover. Monthly donations can be collected via electronic funds transfer, or credit or debit card withdrawals.

What are the benefits of a monthly giving program?

A monthly giving program is a source of predictable, recurring income that allows you to fund long-term initiatives with relatively low administrative investment. On average, your total monthly donations will be higher than multiple one-time ones, so you’ll improve your bottom line that way. Retention rates are higher too, because donors only need to set up the deductions once for them to continue indefinitely.

How do I get more donors for my monthly giving program?

To maximize the potential of your monthly giving program so you can get more donors signed up, follow these tips:

  • Keep it simple and clear. Explain why recurring donations are needed and where the money will go.
  • Make it visual. An appealing infographic is a great way to show the impact or ‘purchasing power’ of your different donation levels.
  • Use branding. Give your initiative (and your donors) a recognizable and catchy name.
  • Show appreciation by providing a freebie resource each month that aligns with the initiative. An example might be a monthly recipe for monthly donors to your community kitchen.
  • Make it accessible. Provide monthly giving options as low as $5 to lower the barrier of participation.
  • Focus your message. Don’t waste resources trying to appeal to a broad audience, and instead target the audience for whom the initiative would most likely resonate.
  • Segment your monthly donors into a separate communications stream and keep them updated regularly about the progress of the initiative and the impact their donation is making.
  • In challenging personal and economic times, strive to maintain strong ties to your monthly donors through 1:1 communication and genuine, human connection. If a donor does have to pause their monthly donation, make it easy for them, and check in with them in a few months’ time.
  • Line up that tech. Make sure you have robust data management and donation processing systems to handle all the monthly donors you’re going to get by following the tips above!

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