Sanford Institute of Philanthropy Blog

Why Your Nonprofit Needs a Monthly Giving Program (And How to Get Started)

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Do you have a small monthly giving program that you’re looking to enhance? Or perhaps your organization doesn’t have one, yet? If so, here are some tips to help you get started!

We are constantly hearing the benefits of a robust monthly giving program:

  • It increases the annual value of a donor. According to the eNonprofits Benchmark Study, monthly donors give an average of $228 per year while one-time donors only give an average of $60 per year.
  • Monthly giving is easy for your donors. Your donors are using automatic monthly transactions for many items like Netflix, Meal Kits, Amazon Prime, and more.
  • Monthly Giving Programs increase your donor retention rate. The annual retention rate for monthly donors averages 70-80% while one-time donors is 41%-50%.
  • One of the best benefits is of a program is the predictability. Unlike campaigns or events, an effective monthly giving program provides a steady income stream.
  • Finally, this is a great way to engage younger donors. According to the Millennial Impact report- 52% of millennials are more interested in monthly giving as a way to give back to the community.  While many young professionals may are paying off student loans and trying to find themselves within their career – it is a great way to encourage $10 or $15 a month options. 

What questions should you be thinking about and working through when starting a monthly giving program? First, make sure you have the capacity to take on this program. Will this be your project or does it fit best with someone on your team? 

Next, work with your team to answer these questions: 

  • What do we want to accomplish through monthly giving?
  • How does monthly giving contribute to our programs and our mission?
  • What would happen as a result of reaching our goal?
  • Who will your audience be?
  • What are suggested monthly gift amounts for this target audience? For each nonprofit, this will vary. You can always increase your donors gift amount over time but what size gifts make sense for most of your donors to start at?
  • Can you brand this program with a name and logo? This will strengthen its brand and show your donors they are a part of something bigger than themselves.
  • Can you make marketing materials to promote this?  
  • And finally, how will you measure success? Will this be through the number of donors? The amount of money donated each year? A combination of both?

Once you’ve thought through these questions and created a plan, it’s time to start recruiting donors. Check out my next blog for tips for identifying your target audience!

Want more fundraising tips? Check out our upcoming events at the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at Maricopa Community Colleges.

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