Recurring donations, or monthly giving programs, are vital for any nonprofit organization. Such sustaining programs are also part of any good fundraising plan.
The benefits of that are many. For a start, you receive monthly income, and that’s what keeps your business going in the long-run.
Such programs are quite affordable. That means it’s not hard to find people to do it. Everyone knows that small amounts make a big difference over time.
This also makes bigger projects possible and you can have an even bigger impact on the industry that you’ve entered.
What people love the most about recurring donations for organizations they support is that it’s quite convenient and giving is proven to lead to longevity.
Donations on a regular basis also give you peace of mind. You’re creating a community of people interested in a good cause, and that makes their lives better too.
Giving programs lead to creating engagement, and thus bringing in new members more often. They also aim to make the whole donation process easier. One simple form is enough to let both parties know that monthly payments will be made.
Knowing exactly how recurring giving can make a difference, setting clear objectives and explaining the details together with the big picture to donors, are all things you can do to encourage donations and spread the word.
How to Get More Recurring Donations?
Fun fact. Most people are encouraged to become a donor because that’s also tax-deductible. But of course, you first need to make people know you’re recognized as tax-exempt by the IRS.
Besides that, monthly giving programs are mainly based on relationships.
That means you should know your market and people interested in it inside out. Convey your message clearly with anything you do, be it online or offline. You should connect with clients and partners whenever you have the chance, and express your values and business philosophy.
Every individual wants to get to know a nonprofit before making a donation. That’s even more important when we talk about recurring ones.
Getting donors to join your recurring program requires clear and strategic communication.
Make the donation process a whole experience for anyone taking part in this.
This means personalizing it, offering enough information and freebies, making people feel part of the community before they’ve even become donors, and more.
Have all elements in place.
Every monthly giving program for nonprofits should have a few elements:
- Set up recurring payments;
- Have a website and create a brand around it. Make sure all its elements fit together;
- Low recurring donations are often preferred, and lead to collecting larger sums in the long-run;
- Forming a relationship with the donor.
You should also define who your target audience is so that you can use their language, reach them on social media and other channels, and use their demographics when promoting a campaign.
Last but not least, donors are particularly interested in where the money is going to be spent, so it’s your job to describe what you’ll do with their donation and keep them updated.
Getting donors is one thing, keeping them is another.
Your donors are often what keeps your organization alive. You should never let money or other less meaningful subjects come before your mission to help people in your field, and before the connection you form with potential donors.
Here are some ideas on how to let people keep making recurring donations:
Make the process simple.
Just like with online shopping, you should aim for clear next steps, enough options to meet people’s needs (accepting credit and debit cards, but also eChecks), offer different packages (this way people can choose what best fits their budget, or preferences), etc.
For that you can use online donation software, which can also help you keep track of donations, get people to make accounts and get engaged, look professional by having contact forms, buy buttons, a whole online store, and much more.
Answer all questions in advance.
For a start, identify any question a potential donor might have, and explain every single detail about the recurring donations you offer. That might be a Q&A page in a visible place on your site, a welcome email to subscribers, a PDF you encourage them to download once they land on your homepage, or else.
Always be available if they want to get in touch too. Share all kinds of contact details on your site, show people how to reach you on different platforms, have a live chat, and get an assistant who’ll be able to answer the phone at any moment.
This makes you reliable and you can be sure you won’t miss out on any chance of donation.
Availability is part of authenticity, which is crucial for building trust with a brand.
Now that you know why you need monthly recurring donations for your nonprofit organization and how to go about it, you can begin setting goals and customizing your campaign.