7 Secrets of Building Donor Loyalty Through Monthly Giving

May 1, 2017       THE NONPROFIT TIMES      

Does your declining donor renewal level keep you awake at night? If so, you’re not alone.

Luckily, there is a solution to your problem, one that not only reduces your attrition rate but also magically compels donors to give you more. Much more.

The secret is converting one-time donors to a monthly giving program. In fact, as Harvey McKinnon, president of Harvey McKinnon Associates in Vancouver explained in his session “The Seven Secrets of Building Donor Loyalty Through Monthly Giving,” the donors you convert to this program will on average double their annual giving each year. “The combination of more money per year and more years of giving will increase the value of the individual donor from five to 20 times over their lifetime of giving,” he said.

McKinnon recalled that 25 years ago he spoke at the AFP (then NSFRE) conference. “It was my first major international talk, and I was nervous. Nobody had ever talked about monthly giving programs there before, and very few organizations in the United States had programs,” he said. “Since then, I’ve seen significant growth in the number of organizations embarking on this channel of giving, but it’s still not enough. And most organizations still do not do enough to promote their programs.”

In addition to showing how monthly giving works, he discussed myths people believe about monthly giving and how to counter them. Which channels are most effective for recruiting monthly donors, and how do you raise even more money for your cause? What are the benefits of monthly giving and the return on investment, and how do you treat your monthly donors so they keep giving? There are recovery strategies you need when they lapse and key metrics to track,” he explains.

To succeed, ask for monthly gifts, all the time, McKinnon advised. “It’s a drip-drip process,” he said. Ask in all your house mailings, even if your direct marketing agency is opposed. Organize a phone campaign to recruit donors who give multiple donations a year. Make sure a monthly option has prominence on your webpage. Recruit at special events. These donors are so valuable that you need to use all contact with annual donors to try to convert them,” he told attendees.