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 that’s personal and inviting.
Most organizations do not have extensive financial resources to market the program. The least resource intensive and least invasive is by using email appeals.
Having said that, those organizations that are most successful with their programs are those that really focus on that way of giving and market aggressively to their donors.
Start by making the recurring giving page easy to find. If you can do a pull-down menu from the home page, add “Monthly Giving” as one of the options, in addition to “Donate Now” (that goes to the “One-Time Donation” page).
Include the button to donate monthly in every email newsletter you send out.
Include testimonials on your website, in your e-newsletters and your hard copy newsletters, if you send them.
Join the program yourself, and then start asking your staff, board and volunteers. It will help with the internal communication and promotion of the program and also start building the program.
The key with marketing your program is to ask low and get a higher response. You can upgrade later. In other words, if the typical average gift of donors to your annual appeal is $35, you can start with $10 a month, but do not start with $35 a month—that’s too high.
For the email appeals, the most successful campaigns are those that include a challenge.
Find a donor or board member who is willing to put up say $5,000 or $10,000 and develop an email appeal aimed at all your donors, asking for donors to join the monthly donor program.
Set a goal that you think is doable. For example, if you have 500 email names, consider a goal of 30 new monthly donors. If you have 1,000 email names, consider 100 new monthly donors and use a deadline that’s no more than two months from now. If you have an event that’s special, you can use that as a special benefit and reason for the deadline as well.
Note that the typical challenge email series consists of three emails:
- The announcement
- The first reminder
- The reminder two days before deadline date