Building a monthly giving program

There are four important elements to building a monthly giving program with recruitment being the biggest investment. The other elements are retention, recovery and re-action.

Harvey McKinnon of  Harvey McKinnon Associates in Vancouver and Rosemary Oliver, CFRE, Amnesty International’s Toronto arm, said that small donors who can be converted to a small monthly gift have gifts that accumulate over time.

She tracked donors acquired from a face to face campaign in 2003. Those monthly donors are still worth “a couple million dollars a year” after 12 years. Another campaign that ended in 2007 will result in $1 million this year from those newly-acquired donors.

They suggested that most organizations already have a pool of donors that can be converted. And, those donors are worth four times more than regular donors.

Phone calls are more expensive for acquisition but works well because there is a conversation.

Some fundraisers believe that donors like automated monthly giving because of the interaction. Really, said McKinnon, it’s about convenience. Donors like to hear about the organization and support it and not have to think about writing a check.

Don’t forget wealth screening after pitching monthly giving. Amnesty found one of its $10 monthly donors, who had given for 15 years, was actually worth $180 million.