Let’s talk about how you can make a big difference at your local YMCA chapter with something simple but powerful: monthly giving. While large fundraising events and campaigns are effective, they can be a lot of work and tied to specific times of the year. This can make reaching donation goals a bit of a rollercoaster ride.
But here’s the good news: monthly giving programs smooth out this ride. They not only bring in a steadier donation stream but they can increase the amount you get from each donor. How much more, you ask? On average, someone who donates regularly will give 42% more over a year than someone who makes a one-time gift. Plus, it costs about five times more to find a new donor than it does to keep one. Most monthly donors contribute an average of $51 each time, usually using credit cards.
The power of a donor’s affinity with the YMCA coupled with convenience is a winning combination. Think about it: it’s often easier and more appealing for people to give a smaller amount every month—say $10—than making a one-time $120 contribution on GivingTuesday. And it alleviates the pressure to give during those busy year-end drives.
Ready to get the most out of monthly contributions? Here are tips to get started
- Launch a dedicated monthly appeal. Target your existing one-time donors with a personalized appeal. Thank them for being part of your donor family, give them credit for an accomplishment, and invite them to be part of an exclusive group making a monthly gift. This approach not only values their past support but also emphasizes the ongoing impact they can make.
- Keep it simple. Simplicity is the key to successful monthly giving, so choose a giving platform that makes it easy! Select one that makes it simple to set up for you and a hassle-free experience for your donors. Platforms like Bloomerang are great because they’re straightforward and can help you keep up to 10% more recurring donors than the industry average.
- Optimize your donation form. Make sure your donation form highlights monthly giving. Have a clear “make it monthly” option and preselect a suggested donation amount. Explain why monthly giving is crucial for the YMCA and its community. A well-crafted form can effectively convert one-time givers into long-term supporters.
- Nurture your monthly donors. Welcome these valued donors into a unique circle. These people are part of a special group now. Make them feel the love by giving them the gift of feeling known by you. Platforms like Bloomerang help you deliver thoughtful communications and offer great insights into your donors. This level of engagement fosters a stronger community of supporters.
- Track credit card expirations. In one study 75% of canceled payments got zero follow-ups. Make sure you have a system to prevent and recover lapsed cards. Taking proactive steps will keep the support flowing and minimize donation disruptions.
Recurring donor retention
Keeping your donors informed and engaged is key. Regular updates on the impact of their monthly contributions can really reinforce their commitment to the YMCA. Consider pairing your monthly giving strategy with a retention program to ensure lifetime giving. Quarterly emails and newsletters are great for this. Michelle Gorham, Chief Advancement Officer for YMCA of Rock River Valley shares how she’s using Bloomerang for more effective retention outreach: “Now, we know our donor retention, which is not something we knew before. I have information about the key interests of our most generous donors and [can] create reports that can show me all the donors who … care about ‘academic programs’ … or ‘disease prevention programming’ so that we can engage in important conversations with them.”
The more you know about your donors, the better you can connect with them and keep their support strong. So, let’s embrace monthly giving and make a lasting impact!