Monthly giving now is EASIER to set up than it’s ever been!
I’ve been managing monthly giving programs for a very long time! (for more than 2 decades!). We started by using direct mail and telemarketing.
DRTV and face-to-face were still in its infancy when it came to monthly donors . And can you believe it, email appeals did not exist!! Nobody had heard of i-phones, mobile giving or social media. Up to just a few years ago, it was much more difficult to organize a monthly giving program. You had to set up a special system in-house, you had to outsource the processing and it was much more labor and resource intensive.
The ‘pioneers of monthly donor programs’ did have one important thing in common: they saw the tremendous impact and revenue these small but regular donors were generating!
The good news is that so much has now changed and I’m grateful that all of the ‘education’ on this topic had at least something to do with it.
Now, virtually every online donation processing system can handle the monthly (recurring) giving option. That means that any size organization can generate monthly donors at virtually no extra expense.
All you need to do now is to organize your monthly giving page and get your donor email list ready.
EASY does it, especially for the donor you’re trying to entice to give monthly. So, think EASY for everything you do next.
1. Make it EASY to find.
Create a special monthly giving only page. Link to it from your web site’s home page. Link directly to it from your emails. If you have a named program, link to it from your home page again, so you have two entry points. If you’re really daring and motivated to grow, take over your home page and make it all about giving monthly.
2. Make it EASY to read.
Leave the small print to a minimum, but rather use 13 point type. At some point we’ll all get to the age where we need reading glasses.
3. Make it EASY to join!
Keep the donation choices to 4 or 5 amounts max so you can keep them on one line. Keep the giving options to credit card only or if your system allows, credit card and automatic bank withdrawal (ACH/EFT).
4. Make it EASY to fill in the payment information.
NO END DATE EVER! If your system asks you to tick or un-tick that option, choose the no end date option.
Put everything on one page so one click does all but don’t clutter the page with too much other information. I know some organizations are putting everything but the kitchen sink on their donation page (for example, how did you find us, is this a tribute gift, do you match gifts, etc. etc.) I recommend that you take all of that stuff out. You want the donor to fill out their monthly amount, their payment information and hit submit.
5. Make it EASY for the donor to understand that they are committing to giving monthly.
This also means confirming the name of the program they’re joining and including a donation contact email and phone number if they have any questions. You do want the donor to realize that they’re committing to make a monthly gift.
6. TEST all of the above, especially on the EASE of joining.
Join your own program and have someone else inside or outside your organization join and get their feedback.
7. Make it EASY on yourself by having all of your back-end stuff ready to go.
That means your email confirmation, your thank you letter and anything else you’re promising the donor will receive when they join your monthly donor program.I see too many organizations that start, stop, start, stop, because they don’t have the basics in place before they launch.Other than that, it’s really EASY for you too.
8. Start EASY, Start Asking!
Tell a story, talk about how the donor can make a difference to your organization with small donations on a regular basis. Start by sending your email names an invitation to join. Make sure you click through to the recurring only page. Make sure you include monthly giving in every email newsletter. Get a current monthly donor to give you a testimonial. You already know how to do this so well in your other fundraising efforts. Just get busy asking.
Monthly giving can be so EASY and you’ll be blown away by how small monthly donors can generate so much money to support your mission and programs!
If you’d like me to take a look at your program or if you have any questions, simply email or call me at (508) 776-1224.
You can also just contact the Monthly Giving Help Line . It only takes one extra new monthly donor to pay for it! You can’t beat the price.
Sign up for my blog so you’ll receive future posts on monthly giving and tools as they’re developed. And if you’re interested in finding out how to start or grow your monthly giving program, just contact me!