Should you convert members to monthly donors?

Posted by on Apr 15, 2017 in Case Studies, Recurring giving |

This post was written for and published at Nonprofit Pro. Some of the most successful (and perhaps even leading) nonprofits that are converting members to monthly donors (often called sustainers or sustaining partners) are public television and public radio stations, all over the country. They realized several years ago that moving regular members to monthly donors had several major advantages: • Members who give automatically through their...

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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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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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3 Tips for Creating Monthly Donor Promises

Posted by on Mar 11, 2017 in Recurring giving |

This post was written for and published by Nonprofit Pro.  One of the first things I recommend when you’re starting to work on growing your monthly donor program is to create the “promises” you’ll make to the monthly donors when they join. What will you send them? How are you planning to recognize them? So let’s begin with the end in mind. Think through the thank you opportunities then decide what you’ll tell them and what you’ll keep as a...

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10 Sad Facts from a Monthly Donor Retention Check-up

Posted by on Jan 30, 2017 in Case Studies, Recurring giving |

Be forewarned, this is a sad story… but it can have a good ending! As you know from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, based upon 2015 data, the typical donor retention rates were 46%, which is why monthly donors are so important as monthly donor retention rates are much higher. The good news is that more and more nonprofits have started a monthly donor program. And as monthly donor programs mature, upgrades, reactivations and...

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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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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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Monthly donors, your ‘insurance policy’ during disasters

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 in Annual appeals, Recurring giving |

As part of the country is cleaning up after Hurricane Matthew and others are bracing themselves for it, I was thinking about disasters and the tremendous impact on fundraising, especially in prime giving season. For example, if you’re local, based in Florida, Georgia or South Carolina and your donors have to evacuate in the middle of your busy appeal season, that will definitely have an impact! Just think back what happened with Katrina...

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Interview with Mazarine Treyz for Nonprofit Leadership Summit

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 in Recurring giving, Speaking |

This was also published as part of an interview for the Nonprofit Leadership Summit.  MT: Hey, everybody. Welcome. This is Mazarine Treyz of Wild Woman Fundraising and I am so pleased today to be interviewing Erica Waasdorp, who wrote Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant, and who is also the president of A Direct Solution. She will be teaching at our Nonprofit Leadership Summit. Erica, can you give some people an idea of the kind of monthly...

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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 giving in 8 EASY steps

Posted by on May 9, 2016 in Case Studies, Recurring giving |

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...

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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 |

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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Case study: Who is responsible for YOUR monthly giving program?

Posted by on Apr 19, 2016 in Annual appeals, Case Studies, Recurring giving |

If you’ve seen or heard me present, you know that I stress the importance of making one person responsible for your monthly donor program, no matter what size the organization is! As you’re the fundraiser, this is most likely going to be YOU. Now, that does not mean that you have to do everything but it’s absolutely ESSENTIAL that one person oversees all of the moving parts and is held accountable. That sounds like a huge...

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A primer and Pitfalls on IRS Form 990…

Posted by on Apr 5, 2016 in Uncategorized |

As we’re all getting closer to our own tax filing deadline, nonprofit organizations have to give consideration to their own tax filings as well, May 15th is right around the corner! That’s why I’m pleased to share a guest blog by James Gilmer, Harbor Compliance A Primer and Pitfalls on IRS Form 990 One of the most important tasks for nonprofits, no matter their industry or purpose, is the annual IRS 990 return. For new...

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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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Top 3 Take-aways from Ring, Ring, Retention Tool Session at Bridge…

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Annual appeals, Case Studies, Recurring giving |

Here are the Top 3 take-aways from Ring, Ring, what’s that retention tool doing in my living room? session At the recent Bridge Conference, held in Washington DC National Harbor, I presented a session with Nick Stavarz, Synergy and Anna Averling of the American Bible Society on the use of the phone in improving donor retention. Here are the top 3 take-aways from this session: 1. Telemarketing is one of the most successful and versatile tools in...

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Every gift matters: What do monthly donors and major donors have in common?

Posted by on Jul 5, 2015 in Recurring giving |

Guest blog for Pamela Grow Every gift matters. What do monthly donors and major donors have in common? The answer: each type of donor gives what they can! As long as you let the donor know that every gift matters. I just finished a book with that same title that was just published: Every Gift Matters, by Carrie Morgridge. It’s an easy read, lots of stories and great examples! On the one hand, Carrie talks about making big gifts through her...

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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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5 Reasons why it’s Crucial to Start Monthly Giving

Posted by on Jun 10, 2015 in Recurring giving |

  Guest blog written for DonorPerfect You must absolutely start a monthly giving program. There, I’ve said it. And you’ll hear me say it time and time again.But why is this so important? I’ll tell you why! In the US, historically, organizations have focused on major donors.That’s where most of their resources went. 20% of their donors gave 80% of their gifts. But how about the many small donors in the donor base? Until a few years ago,...

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Fire yourself if you don’t promote monthly giving

Posted by on May 16, 2015 in Case Studies, Recurring giving |

This was just published as a guest blog in Tom Ahern’s email newsletter… Thank you Tom. I am deeply humbled. In nonprofit labor relations news… You’re fired until you have a solid monthly giving program launched… Do the easy math. Then get to work. Cash gifts are a drink of water. Monthly giving is a forever spring flowing 5 times faster. Two names mean “monthly giving expert/guru/evangelist” amongst...

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Monthly Donor Acquisition Made Easy

Posted by on Apr 7, 2015 in Recurring giving |

By now, I trust you’re convinced that you must truly get going on generating monthly donors. Here are three simple tips to get started: 1. Ask your donors to join Is it really that simple? Yes, it is. If you ask them, they will come. How else are donors going to know that you have a program and you’d like them to join this really convenient way to support your mission? 2. Make it easy to find Occasionally, an organization calls me...

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Calculating your Monthly Giving Coverage Ratio

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in Recurring giving |

Last week I talked about upgrading your monthly donors, a very important part in growing your program. Today I’ll go back to something that’s even more important with any monthly donor program: Retaining your monthly donors. Like anything with fundraising, the rule of thumb is: If you can keep a monthly donor, that’s still cheaper than bringing in a new one. To calculate how you’re doing with your program, we use the...

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5 Big To-Dos for Monthly Giving Programs

Posted by on Mar 14, 2015 in Recurring giving |

This post was also published in Network for Good.   5 Big To-Dos for Monthly Giving Programs One of my favorite breakfasts is the Big-To-Do at Friendly’s. French toast, scrambled eggs and bacon well-done! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it! While this is not breakfast, it’s even more important to ‘enjoy’. So, if you’re serious about your monthly giving program, make sure that you follow these 5 big To-Dos.   Big To-Do 1: Ask...

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Check your ‘Captcha’ to prevent Monthly Donor ‘Lost ya’

Posted by on Mar 7, 2015 in Recurring giving |

CAPTCHA  means Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart. Captchas are those funny looking characters you see on some web pages before check out or before donating. Basically, they want to make sure the person filling in the form is real. While this is a great idea and essential, Do Not Make The Captcha Too Complicated! This is an example of where the web folks and fundraisers have to get together and get on the...

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Monthly giving: Get buy in from finance…

Posted by on Feb 21, 2015 in Annual appeals, Recurring giving |

I’ve talked earlier about the importance of one person (or department) to be in total control of your monthly giving program. That’s important because there are so many moving parts associated with monthly giving. As a fundraiser, you literally touch every other department or individual in your organization. What this means is that you MUST work with other departments to get their buy in. Note, this is not the same as giving them...

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Do donors know what “Recurring” means?

Posted by on Feb 14, 2015 in Recurring giving |

I was talking to someone recently who was very concerned. And I can see why. Virtually every time a donor goes online to make a donation to an organization, he or she sees the word Recurring. Many organizations have simply added the word: “Make this gift recurring” message to their online donation form. That’s what their online forms or donor base system’ allowed them to use. But, do donors really know what that word...

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Solve the problem where it needs to be solved…

Posted by on Feb 7, 2015 in Recurring giving |

I’ve been working in direct marketing, fundraising and monthly giving for a very long time. And of course, I ran into problems. One of the things I learned early on though is that sometimes it’s really important to make sure that you solve the problem where the problem needs to be solved. In other words, sometimes, it looks as if something is causing the problem, but when you analyze it, it’s really caused by something else....

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7 big no-nos for monthly giving programs

Posted by on Jan 31, 2015 in Recurring giving |

This post was also published as a guest post on About.com  Fundraising, thanks Joanne Fritz! As you know, I’ve been writing about what to do when starting a monthly giving program. Recently, I’ve been talking to a lot of clients about their programs and helping them become more successful. What I found was that those organizations that were struggling to grow their program, undoubtedly were doing one or more of the following 7 no-no’s. The good...

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