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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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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What Really Motivates Donors to Give Monthly?

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

I’m so excited! I just received “The 2017 Burk Donor Survey Report,” and this year’s study has a huge section on sustainers—comparing this year’s donors’ answers to ones from 2012, when they last had this major focus on monthly gifts. The top reason why donors want to give monthly is because it assures nonprofits of stable funds, immediately followed by: “More convenient for me,” “It reduces cost of fundraising,” “It’s a way to budget my...

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Should You Use a ‘Tchotchke’ for Monthly Giving?

Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

  This is an interesting question. The first answer is that this depends very much on what you’re currently using in your appeals and messaging. The second answer is that you will never know until you test it. If your donors are used to receiving something “in exchange for a donation,” using a tchotchke or premium as a “thank you” for joining a monthly giving program may be the way to go. For example, if you’re sending out upfront premiums...

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Using Other Sustainers to Invite New Monthly Donors

Posted by on Oct 14, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving, Uncategorized |

  We know that video gives a major boost to open and click-through rates online. So, why not use it to your advantage and invite other donors to join your monthly donor program? Look at your current monthly donors—even if you have just five of them. Call them up, and ask them if they’re willing to share why they’re giving monthly. Then ask them if they’d be willing to say this on video. You don’t have to have a huge budget to make a video...

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Can Transactional Donors Become Monthly Donors?

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

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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Have No Fear! Monthly Giving Help Is Near

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

Originally posted by NonProfitPRO today on August 21, 2017 Over the past few months, I hope I showed you how monthly giving has become so much easier for nonprofits to organize and then actually start. That’s because so many payment processors and donor bases now have built-in tools to create giving pages, add the recurring/monthly option and capture new monthly donors without a lot of jumping through hoops. Having said this, if you’re still...

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What to Do If Your Monthly Donor Doesn’t Want to Give Online

Posted by on Aug 12, 2017 in Case Studies, NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

First posted by NonProfitPRO Today on July 31 While online giving is growing, it’s our assumption that donors are comfortable filling out their personal information into an online donation form and hitting the submit button. Then, where does that information go? For donors, that can be unnerving. They’re worried that their credit card information can get stolen. After all, the credit card abuse, even with chip, is still rampant. The first thing...

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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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Do Monthly Donors Come Easier to Local or National Organizations?

Posted by on Jul 23, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

Originally posted on NonProfitPRO Today, July 10, 2017 Whenever I do a webinar on monthly donors, I am always happy to follow up to provide answers to questions that may have gone unanswered during the short time we were “webinaring” together. One of the questions that came up was:  Is generating monthly donors more difficult for a local nonprofit, compared to a larger national organization? The best answer is: You will not know...

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6 Recommendations for Monthly Donor Prospects

Posted by on Jul 8, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

Originally posted on NonProfit Pro Today, June 5, 2017 Hint: They’re typically already in your donor base. The best monthly donor prospects are donors who currently give you gifts of $100 or less. They are not your big check writers; if they did send you a $100 check, it was probably a stretch gift for them. Instead, monthly donor prospects are donors who can make small gifts more often. They are often on a fixed income. So, here’s what I...

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Future Fundraising Now: How to recruit an army of monthly donors

Posted by on Jul 8, 2017 in Recurring giving |

Posted 12 Jun 2017 by Future Fundraising Now If you want to raise a lot more money for your organizations, there are three things you should focus on: 1.      Major donors 2.     Planned giving 3.      Monthly giving Let’s look at #3. It’s probably the biggest deal, and here’s a great post from A Direct Solution with hints from a nonprofit that has converted about 30% of its donors to monthly giving: When Is the Best Time to...

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Monthly Giving: 4 Ways to Improve Donor Retention and Recruit Sustainers

Posted by on Jul 8, 2017 in Recurring giving |

Posted on June 15, 2017 by ngEngage In the second installment of the Blackbaud Institute’s Sustainers in Focus series—research-backed best practices for marketing, promoting, soliciting, and fulfilling a sustained giving program—Best Practice # 1 was to ask new donors to give on a monthly basis. Monthly giving almost sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Why on earth would a donor who has no relationship with you yet trust your organization...

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How to Best Market Monthly Programs to Donors

Posted by on Jun 30, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

First published on NonProfit Pro Today on June 12, 2017 I just came back from presenting a workshop on monthly donors to a group of nonprofits in Michigan. One of the questions asked was the one on how to best market monthly donor programs to existing donors, especially for small organizations with limited funds and limited time. If you asked me this question four years ago, I would have answered, “Yikes! That’s a tough proposition.” But now,...

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What Can You Do If Your Monthly Donors’ Payments Are Not Coming In?

Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving, Uncategorized |

Originally posted on NonProfitPRO Today, June 19, 2017 Two weeks ago, I was checking my credit card statement and noticed several iTunes charges on it. The charges were going up in value. Believe it or not, I don’t have an iTunes account, so that was an immediate flag. I called the credit card company right away to dispute the charges. They, of course, canceled my card and sent me a new card. I’ve used this card for multiple monthly...

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4 Places to Spotlight your Monthly Donor Program…

Posted by on Jun 10, 2017 in Donor Perfect, Recurring giving |

This post was written for and first published on the Donor Perfect Blog In the recent Donor Perfect webinar Growing Your Monthly Donor Program Without Breaking the Bank, one of the attendees asked this question: what percentage of donors can I expect to give monthly? The answer is: It depends! I see organizations that have 5% of their donors give monthly, I also have clients who have 20 to 40% of their donors give monthly. The reality is that...

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Top 3 Monthly Donor Retention Tips

Posted by on May 30, 2017 in NonProfit Pro Today, Recurring giving |

originally posted on NonProfit Pro Today By now, you know the tremendous power  monthly donors have. You know how it can help improve your donor retention to much higher levels. We typically see monthly donor retention rates between 87 percent and 95 percent—that’s double that of one-time donors. So, as monthly donors are starting to take hold in nonprofits, it’s important to put a few things in place to keep those donors giving monthly to your...

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Is an Auto-Responder Message Enough Recognition for a New Monthly Donor?

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

Originally posted in NonProfit Pro  What’s the monthly donor experience when he or she fills in the online donation form and clicks the button to submit? In virtually all online donation platforms, it’s a two-step process. The minute the donor hits submit, he or she gets an auto-responder message, confirming that wonderful monthly gift. Then, secondly, an email is sent to the monthly donor confirming that gift again. In many online donation...

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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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Treat your monthly donor as your best friend …

Posted by on Apr 3, 2017 in Recurring giving |

If you’re an organization that has had monthly donors for a while, you’ll know that some of your monthly donors can and will stay with you for decades! Of course that in part depends on their age when joining. Typically, I’m seeing that those donors continue to give monthly for 5 years to 7 years. That’s great news, isn’t it? If you treat your monthly donors like your best friends, the news will get even better! Because these “small” donors...

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Are you following #MonthlyDonorMonday?

Posted by on Jan 16, 2017 in Recurring giving |

A few months ago, I started promoting #MonthlyDonorMonday. All I ask of you is to focus one half hour every Monday on your monthly donor program. Of course, you’re totally welcome to do more, but if nothing else, start with half an hour. You can read a MonthlyDonorMonday tip. You can test your web site. You can see what other organizations are doing. You can create a monthly donor page. You can start working on a monthly donor plan.  You...

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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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The Monthly-Donor-After-Ask…

Posted by on Nov 8, 2016 in Case Studies, Recurring giving, Uncategorized |

One of the neat things about the internet is that it’s really made asking for monthly donations so much easier. Especially after they’ve just done something else. There are so many success stories. Where to begin? Let’s start with your auto-responder. Say, you’re an advocacy organization and you do ask people to sign your petition. Did you know that you can use the auto-responder after they signed the petition not only...

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Monthly Giving, Driver of Sustainable Fundraising Par Excellence!

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Recurring giving |

This post was written for and published at the Eight Principles. Monthly giving is probably one of the least understood methods of sustainable giving in the US, but yet one of the most powerful ones.  Once you start, you’ll experience the power, but it’s the starting that’s often the most difficult. Today, I’d like to address the first 3 of The Eight Principles for Sustainable Fundraising™ as they all relate to monthly giving as a major driver...

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Monthly Donor Program is Back on Track

Posted by on Jun 21, 2016 in Case Studies, Recurring giving |

In the past year, this organization in Washington, DC had steadily started losing 500 monthly donors each month. At the same time, its acquisition efforts were only generating 250 monthly donors a month, so the program was in a steady and rapid decline. Something had to happen! The Director brought in A Direct Solution to review the program and try to turn it around. And that’s exactly what we did! One big problem in the past year was beyond...

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Organization Makes Money on New Donor Acquisition Campaign

Posted by on Jun 10, 2016 in Annual appeals, Case Studies |

When A Direct Solution started working with this organization, serving individuals with disabilities, the organization had some 5,500 donors. It had historically mailed two direct mail appeals a year and two hard copy newsletters. Then the organization hired a new Director of Development. With a small staff, she was tasked to considerably grow the donor base and its fundraising budget. A Direct Solution was hired to help accomplish this. We...

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How can Nana Murphy make you a better fundraising professional?

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Annual appeals, Case Studies, Direct Mail |

This post was prepared as a guest blog for Michael Rosen.  How can Nana Murphy make you a better fundraising professional? This is a post based upon the session I attended at the recent AFP International conference in Boston. Thank you, Michael, for sharing this post with your audience. The session I attended was called: From Ireland with Love, presented by Denisa Casement, CFRE, Head of Fundraising, Merchants Quay Ireland, Dublin,  Lisa...

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How do Monthly Donors compare to Annual Fund donors?

Posted by on Sep 29, 2015 in Annual appeals, Recurring giving |

During a recent webinar I did for DonorPerfect and the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the question came up: How do monthly donors compare to annual fund donors? The answer is, monthly donors are really annual fund donors, EXCEPT they’re giving MORE MONEY and they give REGULARLY. So, they’re a step up! And even better news is that many monthly donors will also still give to your annual fund appeals (if you ask them). Often they came to...

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What metrics will convince your board to start a monthly giving program?

Posted by on Jun 29, 2015 in Case Studies, Recurring giving |

This post appeared as a guest post for DonorPerfect What metrics will convince your board to start a monthly giving program? If you’re like a lot of organizations, boards (and sometimes other bosses) drag their feet on starting a monthly giving program. They worry that the metrics are not compelling enough to warrant investing the time, money and people. After all, monthly donors are just small donors, right? Yes, but here’s the great news: the...

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