Transitioning from annual to monthly giving

Monthly giving is a form of fundraising that many organizations have found to be successful in terms of revenue and donor engagement. It isn’t as easy as making a switch from one form of giving to another, however.

During Fundraising Day in New York 2013, sponsored by the New York City chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Valerie Arganbright of Appleby Arganbright and Jason Lott of Human Rights Campaign, in a session moderated by Giselle Holloway of the International Rescue Committee, discussed the power of monthly giving as well as the challenges it poses. They cautioned that making a shift from annual to monthly giving means adopting a new way of doing business. That means certain business rules:

  • Asking, who is the business owner for the monthly giving?
  • Deciding how and when revenue will be recognized.
  • A decision about monthly giving as the number one ask and one-time giving as the only other option.
  • Consistent branding.

Arganbright and Lott also said the following are key considerations in evaluating the program:

  • Monthly activation rates, particularly by channel;
  • Decline and attrition rates;
  • Average gift of new monthly donors by channel; and,
  • Actual performance against budget.