When fundraisers ask me this, the answer is: no better time like the present! And, you should be asking all the time! The more you ask, the more monthly donors you’ll generate.
Here are just a few things one organization does that really has helped them grow their program. (They already have some 30 percent of their donors give monthly.)
• Every September, they take over the homepage with a direct link to their monthly donation page.
• They send a special appeal, with a match offer, followed by a series of emails.
• Every online donation form has the monthly option included, and they alternate the form, sometimes offering the monthly option first and single gift second, depending upon the email sent.
• They incorporate a monthly ask in their welcome email series.
• They send a special welcome package within a month after their first gift.
• Every direct mail appeal donation form has the monthly option front and center, equal proportion. You can’t miss it!
Every organization should be able to do this without great expense.
One word of caution on the appeal donation forms: this works very well, but, if your organization only mails two to four appeals a year, I recommend you test this first. It could have a negative impact on your single gifts. While this is typically made up by the number of monthly donations you generate, it’s important that your boss and board realize it’s about the long term. The organization above realizes this and is committed to generating as many monthly donors as possible as they see the tremendous long-term value!
But if your organization is not quite on that mindset, I recommend you start slowly by adding a special appeal instead and add the “make this a monthly gift” tick box on your appeals and see what happens.
Every single thing you do more than what you’re doing now will help you generate more monthly donors.