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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How long does it take to set up a monthly donor program from soup to nuts?

Posted by on Jun 6, 2017 in Charity How To, Recurring giving |

This post was written for and first posted at Charity How To The answer is: if you focus on it, you should be able to be up and running within a week. I realize that development people in small to mid-size organizations especially are always pulled in multiple directions and distractions are easy. That’s why I recommend you don’t launch the program until you have thought through and put in place the basics. But with a little bit of focus that...

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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 Should You Give Up on a Lapsed Monthly Donor?

Posted by on May 30, 2017 in Recurring giving |

 posted April 27, 2017 NonProfit PRO Today And the answer is: NOT ANYTIME SOON! A year or so ago, I joined 20 organizations with a monthly gift. And (sneaky me), I gave them a card that was going to expire a month later. I then tracked what organizations did in terms of “thank you” letters and actions to try to get me back. In the next two months, only two organizations picked up the phone and called me! The rest sent me emails and left it at...

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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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You Can Convert Monthly Donors From Credit Cards to Automatic Bank Withdrawals

Posted by on Apr 22, 2017 in Recurring giving |

A few weeks ago, NonProfit Pro shared an interesting NACHA case study on the long-term retention of those donors who give automatically through their bank account, also called EFT, Direct Debit, Direct Payment via ACH or automatic bank withdrawal. (Note, for the rest of this post, I’ll refer to this as EFT.) So you may say, “Why is this important if we only offer monthly donors via credit or debit card now?” The answer is because if you can...

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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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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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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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Create a Tax Letter for your monthly donors

Posted by on Jan 3, 2017 in Recurring giving |

This post was first written for and published by Donor Perfect and can be viewed here.  Happy new year! I hope you did fantastic and exceeded your year-end goals! Now it’s back to reality.  You’ve processed all of your donations for 2016.  You’re current with your thank you letters.  That should suffice, right? Then a monthly donor calls and wants a tax-receipt for all of her donations for the year, even though she gets her...

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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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Who is steering your monthly giving ship?

Posted by on Oct 31, 2016 in Case Studies, Recurring giving |

This blog post was also published in Direct Marketing Advents, the publication of the Direct Marketing Association of Washington, DMAW. If you’ve seen or heard me present about monthly giving before, you know that I always recommend the following first step of running a monthly giving program: Put one person in charge! (Note, If you’re a large organization, the above guideline could be expanded to: put ONE department in charge, but it will make...

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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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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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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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How Small is The New Great

Posted by on Apr 14, 2015 in Case Studies, Recurring giving |

Some of you may know I’m Dutch, so occasionally, I put on my Dutch hat… Here’s a Dutch expression that pertains to monthly donors especially: “He who does not honor the small, is not worthy of the big”. Sadly, I still come across too many large organizations  who poo-poo the impact of a monthly giving program for them. They don’t seem to care about the many, many small donors they have and how they could...

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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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Are you serious about your Recurring Giving Program? Part 3.

Posted by on Jan 24, 2015 in Recurring giving |

If your answer is YES, I am serious about your recurring giving program, then you MUST: 1. Evaluate your current processes. 2. Project what you can expect, in terms of number of new recurring donors, existing, types of gifts and projected revenue. 3. Decide if you’ll be able to manage the processing in-house or if you should decide to outsource. This is the third in a series of blog posts addressing each and every one of these areas. In...

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Are you serious about your recurring giving program? Part 2.

Posted by on Jan 17, 2015 in Recurring giving |

If your answer is YES, I am serious about your recurring giving program, then you MUST: 1. Evaluate your current processes. 2. Project what you can expect, in terms of number of new recurring donors, existing, types of gifts and projected revenue. 3. Decide if you’ll be able to manage the processing in-house or if you should decide to outsource. This is the second in a series of blog posts that will address each and every one of these...

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Resolution 2: Attend the Online Fundraising Summit for Free

Posted by on Dec 20, 2014 in Uncategorized |

I hope you’re having a wonderful time this holiday season? I had some time to catch up on some reading, relax and I made my new year’s resolutions. One of those is to never stop learning. That’s why I have amazing news: One of my colleagues has put together a fabulous Fundraising Summit, that’s totally virtual and free. It’d held on January 5-9 and you can attend it simply by clicking here. You’ll see an...

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New Year’s Resolution 1: Start a Monthly Giving Program

Posted by on Dec 13, 2014 in Recurring giving |

I’m putting on my running shoes! As you’re getting ready to finish this year, here’s my recommendation for your firsts New Year’s Resolution: Start a monthly giving program!  I recommend that you run, not walk so you can reap the results sooner than later and really start building donor’s retention and long-term revenue for your organization. Here are 5 rules to review before you start but don’t take too...

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How do you become a better fundraiser?

Posted by on Nov 8, 2014 in Uncategorized |

I just came back from an amazing week at the   International Fundraising Congress with amazing inspired, energetic fundraisers from some 60 countries. You may have heard me speak about this conference before. It’s really the top conference in my book! And I’m not just saying that because it’s being held on the other side of the ocean in my native country the Netherlands! (I was able to spend the weekend celebrating my...

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The Top 6 Reasons why that Phone Call is coming into your Living Room…

Posted by on Oct 8, 2014 in Recurring giving |

For some this may be a bit controversial, but I think it’s time it’s written: Why is that phone call coming into your living room? Because TELEMARKETING WORKS!! Especially when it comes to generating new monthly donors or reactivating lapsed donors or upgrading monthly donors, it’s an absolute MUST to include telemarketing into your communications plan. Here are the top 6 reasons why: 1. Your donors LOVE to hear from you! 2....

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Never put an end date on your monthly giving form

Posted by on Sep 7, 2014 in Recurring giving |

 Never put an end date on your monthly giving donation form!   As you know, I’ve become an avid blogger and presenter on anything monthly giving. To prepare for this, I’ve been speaking with a lot of donor base companies and researching a lot of online donation form options to see what they’re doing for monthly giving. As more and more organizations are jumping on the recurring donor bandwagon, it’s important to...

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