There is one key fundraising activity that might just have the biggest effect on your organization’s retention percentage: monthly recurring donors! Those nonprofits who have unlocked the magic of a dedicated group of donors who make a monthly donation via a credit card, automatic checking account withdraw or a mailed check know exactly what I am talking about. The benefits are numerous:

  • CalendarThey require less work than other types of donors
  • They often upgrade
  • Most still give to your other appeals
  • They are your best planned giving and legacy giving prospects
  • You start every month with the dollars from these dedicated individuals
  • They move your retention rate to higher and higher levels!

I am sure every board member of any nonprofit would endorse the reasons provided above. Those reasons are just as sure as mom and apple pie for anyone and everyone who is involved in fundraising to shake their head yes to.

So why has there not been more success in this powerful segment of fundraising? For one, the entire idea is new and therefore not baked into fundraising traditions. Others may simply have technological barriers. But the real secret to success is so simple:

The secret to securing monthly recurring donors is to ASK them to become one after you explain the benefits to them!

If a prospect or donor is engaged with your mission, they will easily understand the benefits of a recurring giving program to both themselves and to the charity.

The “ask” can be done using all of the same methods you now use. Yes, direct mail, special event registration, online donations, telemarketing, and face-to-face appeals all work just fine. There are many wonderful resources to help in this area. My personal favorite is “Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant” by my friend Erica Waasdorp.

Every charity should focus on monthly recurring donors. I wish you only the best as you make monthly recurring donors come to life at your organization. You don’t get what you don’t ask for!

Jay Love

Jay Love

Co-Founder & Chief Relationship Officer at Bloomerang
A 30+ veteran of the nonprofit software industry, Jay Love co-founded Bloomerang in 2012. Prior to Bloomerang, he was the CEO and Co-Founder of eTapestry for 11 years, which at the time was the leading SaaS technology company serving the charity sector. Jay and his team grew the company to more than 10,000 nonprofit clients, charting a decade of record growth. Prior to starting eTapestry, Jay served 14 years as President and CEO of Master Software Corporation. MSC provided a widely used family of database products for the non-profit sector called Fund-Master. He currently serves on the board of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and is the past AFP Ethics Committee Chairman. Jay is also the author of Stay Together: How to Encourage a Lifetime of Donor Loyalty.