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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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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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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The 7 fundamentals of monthly giving…

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 in Recurring giving, Speaking |

This post was written for and published by Charity How To  A few years ago, Monthly giving was something for the few and big organizations. Not anymore! Every organization can and should organize a monthly giving program in very short order. With the right tools (and you may very well already have them in-house), you can get started in no time. You may know I’m somewhat of a monthly donor ‘groupie!’ I’ve been managing...

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Monthly giving has never been easier!

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in Recurring giving, Uncategorized |

This post was written for and published by Donor Perfect  Just a few years ago, setting up a monthly donor program was difficult. You had to do lots of workarounds, hire professionals to set it up.  or outsource the process and then spend money on direct mail or telemarketing to start asking donors to join your monthly donor program. It was expensive and labor intensive. Email campaigns were for the ‘big few’. Everything took a lot of time....

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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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What would you do If you could do it all over again?

Posted by on Jul 12, 2016 in Recurring giving |

Recently, my Agitator colleagues asked, what would you do if you could do it all over again? Here is what I’d say to you: If you could do it all over again, you should focus on building your monthly donor pool right away. It will help provide that sustainable revenue and it is easy and convenient for the donor. No gift is too small! If you look at the numbers, you scratch your head and wonder why not more organizations have jumped on the...

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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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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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Monthly giving via EFT … EF what?

Posted by on Jul 21, 2015 in Recurring giving |

If you’re starting to get involved with your monthly giving program, you will come across some of these terms: EFT, ACH, Automatic Bank Withdrawal, Direct Debit. They all stand for the same thing: EFT is Electronic Funds Transfer, ACH is for Automated Clearing House. Automatic Bank Withdrawal is probably the best lay term to use and EFT the acronym. The donor provides you with their bank account information and authorizes you, the...

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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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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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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 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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Are you serious about your recurring giving program? Part 1.

Posted by on Jan 10, 2015 in Recurring giving |

I truly hope that you’ve made your resolution that this is the year you’re really going to go all out in growing your recurring giving program. You’ve heard me say this before. There is not one standard plan for a recurring giving program. Each plan is tailor made. That’s simply because your potential depends upon a number of factors. The most important ones: the number of donors you have the number of email addresses...

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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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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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Myth debunked: You do not need a large staff to run a monthly giving program

Posted by on Aug 17, 2014 in Recurring giving |

Another Monthly giving myth debunked… You do not have to have a large staff to run a monthly giving program! You can certainly start small by just offering the program online.  But you must be committed and everybody must understand that everything you do is aimed at generating long term revenue growth. It’s less important what the size of your staff is, but rather the commitment that counts! I recently did a presentation for a group of...

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10 Tips to Awaken Sleeping Giants in your Donor Base: Monthly Donors

Posted by on Aug 2, 2014 in Recurring giving |

This was published as a guest post on Nonprofit Funderland 1. Commit. Building a monthly giving program takes time but it’s definitely a long term investment, not fast money! Crucial to do, but make sure everybody understands this. Most programs do break even in the first year but it depends on the media used. 2. Invest Time, Treasure and Talent. In the beginning, it may take some time and volunteer or staff time to set up the program, but it...

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Sustainers are retainers

Posted by on Jul 18, 2014 in Recurring giving |

  I just came back from a conference, attended by some 1,700 people and I’m so excited! There were 4 (yes, four) sessions on monthly giving aka sustainers!! More and more organizations are finding that ‘sustainers are retainers’. Thank you Dan Allenby for this great word cloud. Many donor base systems are adding monthly giving options to make your life as a fundraiser easier. And research is growing. For example:...

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Myth: Once you bring monthly donors on, you’ll lose them…

Posted by on Jun 30, 2014 in Recurring giving |

Happy Fourth of July week! This is a really important myth to debunk as soon as possible. The number one reason why many organizations are now so interested in generating monthly donors is, because they stay with you for years and years and years. I’ve seen research from organizations that have been offering monthly giving programs for over 20 years and they actually have identified donors who are still giving monthly to this very day! Now, if...

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