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How to Start a Nonprofit Monthly Giving Program

How to Start a Nonprofit Monthly Giving Program

Does your nonprofit have a strong monthly giving or membership program? If not, you’re missing out! Establishing a nonprofit monthly giving program can have a positive impact towards achieving your organization’s financial goals. Monthly giving programs also provide consistent, year-round funding which is vital to meeting overhead costs such as rent or mortgage, employee salaries and more. Let’s walk through the steps of how to launch a nonprofit monthly giving program as one fundraising channel towards your nonprofit organization’s goals.

Communicate a Clear Purpose for Monthly Giving

Why should people sign up to give monthly? One of the most essential foundations for a strong monthly giving program is to communicate a clear purpose for the monthly giving campaign. Pinpoint a specific and ongoing service, effort or other aspect about your organization that needs consistent financial support. These will vary by organization from school supplies, community programs, food to feed the homeless or other efforts.

Develop a Campaign Name for the Monthly Giving Program

After specifying the efforts that the nonprofit monthly giving program will support, develop a campaign name that will create a brand for your monthly giving program. Choose a campaign name that will be easy to promote online and face-to-face. Creating a name that’s memorable and a play on words with the effort that it supports is ideal, so that it becomes easy to mention at events, volunteer efforts or other opportunities where you speak with donors, volunteers and supporters.

Establish Monthly Giving Donation Tiers

Once the giving campaign name is established, decide on the donation tiers that donors can choose from, in addition to their own choice of monthly donation. To establish ideal donation tiers, review the history of prior donors and analyze some helpful details. Such details can be the average donation amount before the donor is a major gift donor or the average donation per month. These can help determine what are realistic donation tiers to establish within the nonprofit monthly giving program.

Once the donation tiers have been created, it is helpful to associate each tier with a breakout of certain costs that the donation supports. For example, $10 can feed five homeless individuals or $50 can support an after school program for ten youth in need each week. Painting the picture of the impact that donors have when they support the monthly giving program helps with establishing trust and transparency for the program.

Offer Incentives and Thank Yous for Monthly Donors

Offering incentives for your monthly gift program donors allows them to be reminded that their support is appreciated. These can be in the form of tangible gifts, VIP treatment at your non-profit fundraising events, private events, or invitations to exclusive visits to your programs. If your nonprofit monthly giving program supports youth or school children, ask them to write a personalized thank you letter to the supporters. A thank you letter from your board members or volunteers will work, as well.

Personalize Your Nonprofit Monthly Giving Program

Another helpful strategy towards retaining donors of your monthly giving program is to personalize their donations. For example, if their donation helps support a particular person in need, let them know the name of whom they’ve helped and what particular impact they had on this individual. An example can be a pet rescue, and letting them know the name and some information about the dog or cat that their donation supports this month. This can be in the form of an email or included on the donation website.

Target Specific Donors for the Monthly Giving Campaign

When deciding who to target for your monthly giving program, previous donors would be a great place to start. Upon analyzing the history of past donors, some of the most helpful things to pay attention to include the following:

  1. Which donors have donated more than once?
  2. Which donors have donated the most, but are not considered major gift donors?
  3. Which supporters have attended your events more than once?

Once there is a list of potential monthly giving donors to target, establish the methods to reach out to them. This can be in a personally written email, a handwritten letter, a phone call or discussing the launch of the nonprofit monthly giving program at the next volunteer effort or event.

While this list is the preliminary target of your initial prospects of monthly giving donors, don’t forget to promote it on a larger scale, as well. This can include promoting on social media, sending out postcards or letters, newsletters or other channels.

Track Monthly Giving with Nonprofit Fundraising Software

Tracking Monthly Giving with Nonprofit Fundraising Software

One of the most pivotal steps in developing a successful nonprofit monthly giving program is to utilize fundraising software that can track donor activities, the program growth and more. A robust fundraising software platform should have some of the following features:

  1. Recurring donor management
  2. Real-time reporting of donations and data management
  3. Secure and encrypted credit card/payment processing
  4. Mass communication with donors within the database
  5. Customization of monthly giving program website
  6. Auto-generated donations receipts
  7. Log-in for your donors to update their profile and credit card information

These features are all available with DoJiggy Donations. Deepen your understanding of your donor base with a nonprofit CRM integration to not only track your monthly donors, but also to help plan for the growth and sustainability of your monthly donation program.

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Develop a Growth Plan for the Monthly Giving Campaign

Once the initial steps have been taken to successfully launch the nonprofit monthly giving program, understand the annual growth goals of your program. Break it down by how many more donors are needed to meet your annual budget and growth. Then further break it down by monthly or quarterly goals. Plan heavier promotion and outreach during peak holidays, seasons or notable times of the year, such as back to school, Thanksgiving and especially the end of the year. Your year-end appeals letter is a great way to promote monthly giving. Promotion on your non-profit website can be in the form of creating a banner on the homepage during these promotional periods and creating newsletters about the monthly giving program. This goes hand-in-hand with placing a link to the monthly giving program within the menu of the homepage.

Utilize Testimonials to Promote Monthly Giving

The power of storytelling plays for non-profit fundraising is strong, and it can be told from both sides of the organization. Reach out to supporters with well-established relationships to ask for their reason for being a monthly donor and sharing their stories on your nonprofit website. Everyone has different reasons for supporting the cause, and sharing their reasons can offer experiences that relate to prospective monthly donors. On the other hand, also ask individuals that have been positively impacted by the nonprofit monthly giving program for how the program has helped them. Both sides of the story can have a powerful influence on building your donor base when someone visits your website.

These steps are a great start to laying down the foundation of how to build your nonprofit monthly giving program. Beginning with defining your giving program campaign, laying out the details of your monthly giving program then continuously doing outreach and promotion of your campaign. With these steps in play, you’ll be able to start seeing the growth of your donor base for your monthly donation program.

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Lisa Bennett

About Lisa Bennett

Lisa is the Sales Director at DoJiggy. She joined DoJiggy in 2006 and loves her job. Prior to working with DoJiggy, she worked at several non-profits and managed special event fundraising.

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