How to Ask for Monthly Gifts at Your Gala Event

Posted by on Feb 3, 2018 in Case Studies, General Interest, NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

A colleague consultant asked me this question last week, and I was discussing this very same thing with another organization myself. Great timing! A nonprofit in the process of launching its monthly donor program has its annual gala coming up this spring. It’s a fancy event—heavy hors d’oeuvres, silent and live auction, including a “fund-a-need” focused on something they need for their program. Donors typically pay $100 to $150 for a...

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Answering the Top 3 Monthly Donor Management Questions

Posted by on Jan 29, 2018 in General Interest, Recurring giving |

There’s been somewhat of a landslide of late when it comes to “sustainers,” also known as monthly or recurring donors. These are donors who give automatically from a credit/debit card or bank account. Have you seen these amazing recent statistics? Monthly donor retention rates: 90 percent and up (double the average donor retention rate of 45 percent!) Sixty percent of donors under 35 give monthly. The average monthly gift is $24, or $288 a...

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How Do You Manage a Large Sustainer Program?

Posted by on Jan 28, 2018 in Case Studies, NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

Last week, NonProfit PRO organized a webinar called “Effectively Managing a Monthly Giving Program that Exceeds the Thousand-Sustainer Mark,” sponsored by CharityEngine. The organization featured was the Wounded Warrior Project, and the focus was on how they acquired sustainers and then managed those sustainers (the back-end). It was exciting to hear from such a big organization, and it brought me back to my days of managing a large sustainer...

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Is Your Monthly Donor Tax-Letter Ready?

Posted by on Jan 20, 2018 in Case Studies, Direct Mail, General Interest, NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

Now you’re in the middle of evaluating your appeal results, it’s up to you to make sure that the donor feels good about their giving experience—no matter what the amount. I recommend pulling in some extra people, volunteers and board members to make thank-you phone calls. Put some extra effort into sending out the thank-you letters pronto. And make sure you’re ready to send out tax letters well before the end of the month. If you’ve been...

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Organize a Process Review to Improve Your Donor Retention

Posted by on Dec 19, 2017 in Case Studies, General Interest, Recurring giving |

As a fundraiser and donor relations professional, you work hard every day to make sure your donors feel important. You know like no other that all donors need to feel appreciated, no matter how much they give or how often they donate to your organization. That’s why I’m still amazed at how difficult this seems to be, especially as organizations grow. Especially if there are multiple “cooks in the kitchen.” Often decisions are made...

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Don’t Forget to Test Before You Send

Posted by on Dec 11, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We had a great time with my family, the turkey and all the trimmings. On Black Friday, I sat down behind my computer and made donations to some 20 organizations. The same amount for each. Some I already donate to monthly, and some I only give to this time of year. To process the 20 donations, four used PayPal, and two used Stripe, NetCommunity, Donor Perfect Weblink, Classy or Network for Good. Then...

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What Would St. Nick Say?

Posted by on Dec 10, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

St. Nick (or Sinterklaas as we called him) was part of my tradition growing up in Holland. Dec. 5 was when we received our gifts as kids. The night before, we’d put our shoe with some straw and carrots for St. Nick’s white horse in the corner of our living room. And he and his little helper black Pete would come and drop our gifts near our shoes. Here are two links to the explanation of this tradition. here or here. As we got older, we’d draw...

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Asking for Sustainers for Gifts on Giving Days

Posted by on Nov 27, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

November is almost here. Many of you are probably working on your #GivingTuesday campaigns, or you may have other giving days you’re focused on. And of course everybody is on board with sending out several emails in the month of December. The question always comes up: Should we ask for monthly donors in our giving day emails and social media messaging? Well, if it were up to me, I’d say: Yes, absolutely! Try to get as many sustainers as you...

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Warning: Minimal Stress Involved

Posted by on Nov 26, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

Yes, it’s true! Prime giving season is here. Everybody is on high alert. Printers are buzzing. Letter shops are stuffing appeals in overtime. Email drafts for #GivingTuesday and December are flying left and right. You’re pushing board members to commit to calling at least a few donors to say “thank you.” Some have said they’d be willing to come in and write personal notes on some of your appeal letters. And it all has to drop by Thanksgiving!...

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It’s Time to Call Your Organization

Posted by on Nov 6, 2017 in Case Studies, NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

P I just came back from the International Fundraising Congress, which was held last week in Noordwijkerhout, Netherlands. It’s always a great time to visit my family who live near the German and Belgian border in the south. I was able to attend a great session on donor love with Jen Love of Agents of Good and Simon Scriver. I’d heard of them, but now I actually got to meet them—pretty neat! The session includes lots of great tips and examples...

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What’s Your Techie’s Answer When It Comes to Monthly Donors?

Posted by on Oct 31, 2017 in Case Studies, NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

F I typically write posts that are aimed at any-sized organization. Today’s piece is initially more aimed at large organizations. Let me share this story with you. When I worked at a big animal welfare organization with a huge donor base, we had several wonderful people in our “systems support/technology/IT” department. As manager of monthly giving, I had to have regular meetings with these great “techies.” (Note: I absolutely mean this in the...

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Why Don’t You Start Asking Monthly Donors for Bequests?

Posted by on Oct 29, 2017 in Case Studies, Legacies and Bequests, NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

I’m touching down in Amsterdam to attend the International Fundraising Congress in Noordwijkerhout, Netherlands. One of this year’s speakers is Richard Radcliffe. He’s not only a funny, energetic and entertaining presenter, but he’s also one of the most admired experts when it comes to legacy fundraising. In the U.K., because of the way wills are recorded, they’re able to do a ton of legacy fundraising research. When I asked him how monthly...

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How Will You Engage Your Monthly Donors This Fall?

Posted by on Oct 7, 2017 in Direct Mail, General Interest, NonProfit Pro Today |

This question comes up regularly, but especially now, as nonprofits are starting to prepare their fall and year-end appeals. Should you or should you not ask your monthly donors for money? The answer is a resounding YES. As in YES, you should absolutely ask your monthly donors for money at this time of year. Unless the donor told you that he or she doesn’t want to hear from you, now is the time to engage and ask for a special or extra gift. If...

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Can Transactional Donors Become Monthly Donors?

Posted by on Sep 25, 2017 in General Interest, NonProfit Pro Today |

Originally posted in NonProfitPro Today on September 5, 2017 First of all, let me add my thoughts and prayers to those who lost their home and everything else after Hurricane Harvey. And I know we’re not out of the woods yet, with other storms coming near. Fortunately, there are many wonderful experienced organizations on the ground to help the victims. And, of course, fundraising activities have ramped up. People are literally walking in the...

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Let’s Say ‘No’ to Automatic Sustainer Upgrades

Posted by on Aug 24, 2017 in Case Studies, NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

Previously posted by NonProfitPRO Today on August 14 At the recent Bridge Conference, I enjoyed several wonderful sustainer sessions. During one of those, someone asked about the automatic sustainer upgrade process some nonprofits are apparently using. My hair immediately started standing up straight! What happened to being donor-centric? Automatic sustainer upgrades are really all about the nonprofit, but frankly, if you’re offering this,...

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When Is Not a Good Time to Upgrade a Monthly Donor?

Posted by on Aug 1, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

Originally posted by NonProfitPRO Today on July 24, 2017 I’ve been a monthly donor for many years. Two years ago, I did a little experiment: I joined 20 organizations to see what they would do (10 small and 10 large organizations). I wanted to experience their “thank you” process, their subsequent communication stream, tax letters, emails, lapsed recapture (if any) and upgrade process. One of those organizations is a huge national organization....

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How many monthly donors can you expect?

Posted by on Jun 4, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

This was first published on Nonprofit Pro How many monthly donors can you expect? That was one of the questions someone asked of me after a recent webinar. That is the $64 million question, isn’t it? The answer may surprise you, because it differs by organization size and organization’s motivation to grow its monthly donors. For example, I was speaking with a group the other day, and they have less than 300 donors to work with. They set a goal...

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When Is the Best Time to Ask for a Monthly Gift?

Posted by on Jun 1, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

Originally posted NonProfit Pro Today 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...

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The Best Response When a Monthly Donor Calls to Cancel

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

A monthly donor calling up to cancel is a dreaded call for any organization. It’s something nobody wants to hear. But it’s important to respond in the right way. Bloomerang’s Steven Shattuck posted an article on his experience canceling as a monthly donor. So, let’s provide you with the best response when this happens at your organization. This requires you to get all of the people answering the phones at your organization in a room for a few...

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Poke the Monthly Donor Box…

Posted by on Apr 10, 2017 in Recurring giving |

I just finished Seth Godin’s book, “Poke the Box.” As always, it’s terrific, short and to the point. It really got me thinking: Godin tells us to have the initiative to start. Turn fear into action because the consequence of doing nothing is much scarier and is certainly going to raise less money! It seems to me that this approach should be applied especially to monthly donors. There seems to be a fear of starting, and it prevents organizations...

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The Top 2 Must-Dos for Monthly Donors…

Posted by on Mar 26, 2017 in Recurring giving |

This post was recently featured in Nonprofit Pro In one of the webinars I present on monthly giving, one of the polls is: “How often do you ask someone to become a monthly donor?” The answer in some 50 percent of cases is not at all. Twenty percent say once a year and others more often than that—maybe twice or three times. Well, here’s your number one must-do when it comes to bringing in new monthly donors: Must-Do No. 1: You must ASK for it As...

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What’s the best amount to ask for in monthly giving?

Posted by on Mar 18, 2017 in Recurring giving |

This week’s #MonthlyDonorMonday tip is focused on the best amount to ask for in monthly giving. One of the attendees of my webinar last week sent me a follow up question and I know it comes up a lot. What’s the best amount to ask for in monthly giving can really be broken into two additional questions: Should you ask for odd or even amount?  For example; does $9 work better than $10? What’s the lowest amount you can ask for?...

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To ask for one-time gifts or monthly gifts… That’s the question!

Posted by on Mar 5, 2017 in Recurring giving |

This post first appeared on the Donor Perfect blog. Many nonprofits struggle with the decision to make the move and ask for monthly gifts. Here’s what I hear from organizations when I ask them about their monthly donor program: “I need one time gifts.” “I can’t focus on monthly gifts right now. They’re too small to concern myself with.” “I only have so little time. Why would I worry about small donors?” “It’s all about the net and monthly...

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THE # 1 Fundamental of Monthly giving

Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in Recurring giving, Speaking |

This post was written for Charity How To  and can be read here  I’m so excited… Because monthly giving is becoming more and more popular! Systems keep getting easier and easier.  More organizations have seen the ‘monthly donor light!’ But yet, so many organizations are slow to come on board.  With just a little bit of training, you too can start your monthly donor program and grow that sustainable revenue you need to...

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Why Segmenting Your Sustaining Donors Is Crucial for Growth

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in Annual appeals, Recurring giving |

This post was written for and published by Bloomerang  More and more organizations now have a sustaining donor (monthly, quarterly, etc. donor) program. That’s great! Unfortunately, there can be a tendency not to continue appealing to them. But should you continue asking them for money? Can you send an appeal to your recurring donors? The answer is a resounding: YES, YES, YES! If you don’t, you’re missing out. The typical small shop that I have...

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What’s the best time of year to ask for monthly donations?

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in General Interest, Recurring giving |

The best time of year to ask for monthly donations is NOW!  If you’re serious about generating sustainable revenue for your organization that is! January is a great month to start. You have all these wonderful new donors you brought on over the holidays. So how do you start? Simply start by adding the “make it monthly” or “make it recurring” to your online donation page. If you don’t ask, you’re not...

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How do you Target your Best Monthly Donor Prospects?

Posted by on Aug 18, 2015 in Recurring giving |

At a recent webinar, someone asked me: Are there certain parameters to use to find your best monthly donor prospects? The general answer is: Yes, there certainly are! But, it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. And where you are in your monthly donor program. And how you’re offering monthly donors to give (credit/debit card only or credit/debit card and EFT)? And it depends on which media you’re using to raise funds...

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