Monthly giving programs can work very well in fundraising, but many organizations are struggling to draw any funds and don’t always have the resources to develop monthly donations.
During the AFP International Fundraising Conference, Harvey McKinnon of Harvey McKinnon and Associates and Rosemary Oliver of Amnesty International Canada said that recruiting a first-time donor as a monthly giver can be costly at first but has a long-term payback. Conversion usually involves less up-front cost, and in this case, retention rather than reactivation works very well, so well that it is the single most important factor in creating donor long-term value.
They offered tips for getting the most out of a monthly giving program.
- Make a plan for each of the Four Rs (recruit, retain, recover, reactivate). It is possible to get donors to increase their gift amount. This leads, not surprisingly, to more money, but it also is linked to higher retention rates (the phone works best).
- Contact lapsed donors after 12 months and ask them to rejoin as monthly donors.
- Take ideas from other organizations.
- Think from a donor perspective.
- Remember that it is not possible to thank donors enough.
- A last bonus tip: use the word “You.”