Ongoing cultivation is crucial to any fundraising initiative and monthly giving is no different. Your recurring donors are genuinely happy to hear from your organization and enjoy seeing how their gifts have made a difference- no matter how small. That’s why marketing your monthly giving program is all about creating a story together.
It’s important to show your monthly donors that their relationship with your mission is worthy of their commitment because of what you accomplish together. Your monthly giving outreach efforts should reflect the significant impact a single monthly donation has on your success.
Your monthly giving engagement strategy
It’s important to include monthly donor initiatives in your overall donor engagement plan, but as mentioned, you should set them apart and make them feel special.
Your monthly giving strategy should rely on donor segmentation for two reasons. First, so that you can track everything you do, and second, because a personal approach works especially well with monthly donors. They already strengthened their relationship with you when they decided to give regularly, and if treated with care, they are likely to continue that trend over time.
In short, it is vital to keep continuous communication with your monthly donors and routinely thank them for their ongoing support.
6 ways to promote your monthly giving program
Monthly giving marketing tip #1
Start by asking low, then growing your support
When you start by asking for a lower amount, your monthly giving program will welcome donors of all incomes, many of whom will eventually be able to increase their monthly giving amount. This also shows donors that you appreciate their support, regardless of gift size.
Asking donors to upgrade their monthly gifts helps improve their retention rate, as donors willing to upgrade are committed.
How to ask for a higher donation:
- Consider some compelling reasons for upgrading (new ways to help, etc.).
- Tailor upgrade campaigns to donors who have been giving monthly for at least six months.
- Focus on a specific group, like those who joined online. Typically, the same channel you used to acquire a monthly donor will work best for upgrading.
Monthly giving marketing tip #2
Consider direct + indirect solicitation methods
There are direct and indirect ways to solicit monthly donors, and your methods will differ by each group you’ve segmented. For example, email and direct mail are ways of asking outright, while social media posts and event invites keep donors engaged and aware of your efforts.
Let’s look at some examples:
- Telephone – Start an open conversation with your donors to understand why they give, tell them how their gifts have made an impact, and ask if they’re interested in a more convenient way of giving. If they’re already giving monthly, you could ask them to upgrade to a higher amount.
- Social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube can be used to keep donors in the loop about your monthly giving program and how it’s benefiting your cause. For many, seeing your fundraising video and updates is inspiration enough for them to join.
- Mobile text-to-give – Not all mobile-minded donors check social media all the time. Those who enjoy monthly giving for its convenience will appreciate a quick, simple way to join the program or increase their donation via text.
- Crowdfunding – Let your monthly donors create their own crowdfunding pages to solicit donations from their connections. If they care enough about your mission to donate monthly, their family and friends likely share those values.
- Fundraising events – Webinars, galas, luncheons, and any fundraising event you host will present an opportunity to ask donors to join your monthly giving program in the heat of the moment. Not to mention, you can just as easily see success with follow-up appeals after the event.
Whichever you choose, make sure you’re collecting complete information for your monthly donors so that you can track your program’s efficiency.
Monthly giving marketing tip #3
Put your program front + center on your website
Make sure your monthly giving initiatives are visible to all supporters, so they are easily accessible by anyone who would consider signing up. It’s also very important to note that your program will have better, long-term results when your website’s online forms offer a monthly gift option.
The best ways to grow your monthly giving program from your website:
- Make your monthly giving program prominent on your home page.
- Make the monthly donation form available from your main navigation menu.
- Make monthly giving the default option on your website’s primary donation form.
- Create a special recurring-giving-only page (no one-time donations) so that you can link to it in email and social media campaigns.
Monthly giving marketing tip #4
Create a monthly giving email campaign
For the best results, your monthly giving emails should be brief. And remember, segmenting your donors will not only help you tailor your messages to specific groups but also track the success of each email and the campaign as a whole.
Monthly giving email checklist:
Tell your story with pictures or video
At least 3 links to your monthly giving program donation form
Challenge, deadline, or goal
The specific impact of each donation amount
Short paragraphs, large fonts, 300-500 words
Always say thank you!
Monthly giving marketing tip #5
Invite your monthly donors to give testimonials
In the marketing world, testimonials are extremely powerful. If you already have monthly donors, ask them why they like giving that way so you can share their stories with your other constituents. Once you receive donors’ approval to use their replies, display their testimonials on your website, newsletters, and emails.
Monthly giving marketing tip #6
Inspire involvement with a monthly giving challenge
Challenges and deadlines have proven to work exceptionally well in monthly giving initiatives. They bring a sense of urgency to reach a specific goal and drum up excitement for your monthly donors.
Ask your board or a donor to find someone interested in issuing a special matching donation challenge to help you grow your monthly donor program. Include a goal for the number of monthly donors you’d like to reach. Make sure it’s realistic, attainable, and able to be tracked along the way.
Make your monthly donors feel special with a personalized experience, and create success stories together. When you treat your monthly donors with care, you can increase your donor retention two-fold. In fact, DonorPerfect users who power their program with Automatic Monthly Giving see an average monthly donor retention rate of 90%.