How to Grow Your Monthly Giving Program

Nels Challinor
Nels Challinor

Content Writer

Monthly giving is one of the most dependable fundraising tools you have at your disposal. The benefits of this type of campaign are numerous, including convenience for donors and a higher retention rate for monthly givers. For more benefits of starting a monthly giving program, check out this article.

If you’ve already started a monthly giving program and are looking for ways to grow the donor base or are in the process of planning your program, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a list of three must-dos for any successful monthly giving program.

1. Integrate Monthly Giving Into Your Messaging

As with any campaign, you’ll want to incorporate monthly giving into your messaging channels so that donors have lots of opportunities to learn about this donation method. Make sure to feature your monthly giving program on your social media, your emails, and your website. Donors can’t participate in this program unless they know about it, so here are a few must-have communication strategies to help you cast a broad net.

Add The Option To Your Donation Form

Donation forms are perhaps the most important place to highlight your monthly giving program. When someone arrives at your donation page, they are already ready to give, so why not capitalize on their enthusiasm by encouraging them to give on a regular basis? 

With CauseVox’s donation page tool, you can add monthly options to your donation page so that your donor can choose whether they would like to take part in this program as they are making a donation. CauseVox donation pages are also fully customizable, allowing you to explain the benefits of monthly giving directly on the form. 

An Example of a Donation Page with Donation Tiers Tied to Impact

Once a donor chooses to give monthly, their credit card on file will automatically be charged on a recurring schedule. Of course, they have the option to opt out at any time, but there is a 90% retention rate for monthly givers. That’s double the rate for one-time donors.

CauseVox makes it easy to kickstart your monthly giving program by including the option directly on your donation page. With an optimized donation form with CauseVox, you can add donation tiers that will help donors understand the impact of their recurring gift. We have found this to be the most effective way to grow your monthly giving program.

Mention Monthly Giving In An Email Sequence

Along with your website, the most common form of communication you likely have with donors is email. As a fundraiser, you probably spend much of your time communicating with donors via email. If this feels overwhelming at times, consider how you can group (and automate) your emails into sequences or series of emails to stay organized and improve donor retention.

An email series is a sequence of emails automatically sent to a donor for a specific purpose. The best example is a welcome series, which should begin once a donor makes a gift. 

A welcome email series can drastically improve your donor retention. In fact, studies have shown that welcome series emails can average an open rate of 50% or higher and a click-through-rate of 15% or more. 

We recommend a simple three-step approach for structuring your welcome series.

  1. Acknowledge a gift with an immediate email as soon as a donor gives. Consider how you can weave a story into this message so that your donor understands the impact they made with their gift.
  2. A few weeks after your first email, send a second that allows the donor to learn more about your organization. Share updates, stories, or an opportunity for them to engage with your program.
  3. Your third email should be sent out no later than three months after a gift and is your opportunity to make an ask of the donor. Here, you can mention your monthly giving program and explain how the donor can make an even greater impact by signing up as a monthly giver. We have found that donors who give twice within the first three months are far more likely to give again, especially if they become monthly donors.
Watsi Updated Donors Using a Story in Their Welcome Email Series

Include Monthly Giving On Your Content Calendar

With so many communication channels available to nonprofits, it is essential to keep track of all of the content that you are putting out. The easiest way to do so is to create a detailed content calendar. 

Content calendars will help you plan and execute communications about your campaigns. You can grow your monthly giving program by including it as a recurring topic on your content calendar. This will ensure that your donors receive regular reminders that they can give monthly. 

With a detailed calendar, you can leverage popular giving days into opportunities to grow your monthly giving program. For example, you will likely include the content that you put out on #GivingTuesday on your calendar. Boost your monthly giver retention rate by following the content you put out on these dedicated giving days with communication about your monthly giving program.

Your content calendar may be a part of your fundraising calendar, or it could be a separate document. However you decide to organize it, make sure that you are working closely with your marketing and development teams so that your messaging is consistent across all platforms. 

2. Don’t Hesitate To Make Personal Contact

When they give to nonprofits, donors want to feel like they are working with people, rather than faceless organizations. As we all know, the value of personal relationships is immeasurable in fundraising. But how can you develop these relationships and leverage them into a bigger and better monthly giving program?

Personal Thank You’s

We mentioned above how a welcome email series can help you retain your donors. Although this method is efficient, it does remove the personal touch since these emails will likely be automated. A great way to address this issue is to write a personal thank you email that will supplement your automated email.

Your first automated email will go out to the donor as soon as they make their gift. Remember that you won’t be sending another until a few weeks after that. So the best time to send a personal thank you to a donor is one week after their gift. At this point, they will be receptive to opening another email from you and will appreciate the timely personal thank you for their recent donation.

Personal Ask To Go Monthly

Personal thank you’s are a good way to build a relationship with a donor, but how will you use this relationship to grow your monthly giving program?

Timing is key with every appeal. Ask a donor to take an action too early and they may think of you as pushy and ungrateful for the gifts they have made. Wait too long and you risk losing their interest. 

We have found that the best time for a personalized appeal asking a donor to join a monthly giving program is three months after their gift. At this point, they will be used to receiving your emails, both personalized and automated, and will be amenable to learning more about how they can support your mission.

Remember that donors want to give to a mission, not an organization. Include a moving story or testimony from one of your beneficiaries in your personal ask in order to illustrate the value of monthly gifts. Personal asks may take a bit longer to write, but you will see the value in the increased size and number of monthly donations.

An Example of a Personal Email to Donors Who Have Used CaringBridge

3. Offer Pledge Now, Pay Later 

CauseVox is excited to offer a brand-new feature to help you grow your monthly giving program – Pledge Now, Pay Later. If you have donors who would like to give big, but can’t work a single large gift into their budget, then this tool is perfect for you.

CauseVox’s Unique Tool

CauseVox is the only fundraising platform that lets you offer Pledge Now, Pay Later to your donors. With this tool, you can offer your donors the chance to pay for a large donation in smaller increments. And you can incorporate it directly into your donation page, making it easy for donors to choose this option.

With 56% of American consumers using a Buy Now, Pay Later service of some kind, Pledge Now, Pay Later will appeal to a broad segment of your donor community. 

An Example of Pledge Now, Pay Later on a CauseVox Donation Page

A New Way To Frame Monthly Giving

Pledge Now, Pay Later not only allows you to appeal to donors who would like to give larger gifts, but it also lets you reframe your monthly giving program. Offering this feature on your donation page will help you bring in more monthly gifts at higher amounts!

It’s no secret that donors want to make the biggest impact possible. You don’t want anyone to get discouraged because they can only give $10 or $20 per month. Even if you assure them that every bit helps, they could be reluctant to give unless they know that their donation will make a real difference.

With Pledge Now, Pay Later, you can frame a donor’s monthly gift as a higher annual gift. So instead of explaining the small impact that a donor will have with $20 per month, you can instead tell them about the larger impact of their $240 annual donation. With CauseVox’s Pledge Now, Pay Later, you can offer donor’s the chance to break any size gift into smaller increments and pay over a 12, 24, 36, or 48 month schedule. 

Incorporating Pledge Now, Pay Later into your monthly giving strategy is a win-win: Your donors will appreciate the chance to make large contributions in a way that makes sense for their budget and you’ll see your monthly giving program grow!

Grow Your Monthly Giving Program With CauseVox

Monthly giving is one of the most valuable tools you can use to maximize your fundraising with less effort. CauseVox makes it easy for you to expand your monthly giving program with a customizable donation page and Pledge Now, Pay Later.

Get started today on building a donation page that includes monthly giving and Pledge Now, Pay Later options! 

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