I mean, for real, how much of your attention is given to creating, sustaining, growing a monthly giving program at your organization?
I don’t mean a checkbox on a reply form, though that’s nice.
I mean serious, intentional action to persuade your donors to support your work monthly.
I ask because monthly donors are so important to your organization’s long-term health and even existence. Their gifts are dependable support. They are the people who show you their commitment. They’re more likely to jump in to help more in an emergency. And they are your best prospects for legacy gifts.
So if you haven’t made building this important group of donors a priority, you might want to think about doing that… yesterday.
What’s keeping you from doing it?
- Perhaps it’s simple exhaustion. You’re working like crazy to keep everything else afloat. How can you add to the list?
- Or maybe inertia. We haven’t done it much, so we don’t do it much.
- Or… maybe you just don’t know where to start.
Too much on your plate already? Consider that additional income could mean additional helping hands on staff.
Not in your current plans? Well, 2020 should teach us (if nothing else) that things chance, even when we don’t plan on it.
No idea where to begin? Harvey McKinnon has you covered.
How to Create Lifelong Donors Through Monthly Giving
I was surprised and delighted when Harvey’s new book appeared in my mailbox. (Thanks, Harvey!) So as soon as I waded through the pants-on-fire deadlines I was jousting with, I sat down to read.
My first monthly giving program
So I first tried my hands at a monthly giving program years ago after reading an article Harvey wrote. The article was so clear that I felt comfortable pitching the idea to my brand-new boss. Fortunately, he said yes. And our baby monthly giving program was born.
Thanks to the peculiarities of this organization, I had only direct mail in my toolkit. But that’s no reason not to start.
In his new book, Harvey goes into much more detail than the article I read. You’ll find everything you need to begin.
Why monthly giving matters…
Why it will not only increase your income, but increase retention…
And a host of great ways to get started.
Harvey’s gentle steps
Direct mail? Face to face? Email? Social media? Even events? Harvey shows you how to use all these channels to begin or bolster your monthly program. Is your organization tiny? Harvey will assure you and even take you through gentle steps… beginning with you being the first to sign up.
Then you can invite your co-workers to be leaders, too. And board members and other volunteers.
I love that one of the first things he suggests preparing is the welcome, or “thank you for joining” materials.
The point is you can start small. Just keep moving in the right direction.
Nitty gritty matters, too
Harvey doesn’t skip the roll-up-your-sleeves stuff, either. Make sure your organization is ready to handle the process of receiving, recording, and thanking monthly donors. Make sure the processing procedures are ready, too.
Seemingly small things, like a process for handling expired credit cards can make a huge difference in your long-term success. Be ready!
And before you begin asking, be sure you have a clear case to make. Why should a donor feel it’s important to give every month?
Fundraising grows when you invest in it
Monthly giving is an area worthy of investment. This isn’t a flip a switch thing. It will need to be nurtured. But when you do nurture it – with consistency and commitment – you will see results.
Depending on the scale of your program, that investment might be some of your time and effort. As the program grows, it might be an additional staffer. Or even outsourcing.
But one thing is clear – this is a wise move. And it’s a move that is respectful of your donors, as well. Like a relationship, this goes both ways. Your work is better funded. Your donors have the chance to make a significant difference in a way they can – even if they’re not wealthy. Just be sure they understand how important they are!
Monthly giving is smart – and so are you
So it’s a match made in heaven, right? Or at least a match on the side of the angels, because you’ll be able to do more of your good work.
Photo by Chase Clark on Unsplash
The biggest challenge for organisations is to shift their mindset to monthly giving and to get in to the habit of asking potential donors to become monthly givers.