Monthly Giving: 7 Reasons It’s a Must for Every Nonprofit

Over the past few years, I’ve stressed the importance of monthly giving to my clients. I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t and I’ll be sharing it next week (more on that below).

One thing I have learned is that monthly giving is a “must have”, not a “nice to have”.

Here are 7 of my favorite reasons why ALL nonprofits should make monthly giving a centerpiece of their fundraising strategy:

1. Monthly giving increases donor retention

Check out these frightening stats from the 2017 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report:

  • Every 100 donors gained in 2016 was offset by 99 lost donors through attrition. Ouch!
  • Every $100 gained in 2016 was offset by $95 in losses through gift attrition. Yikes!
  • The greatest losses in donors came from lapsed new donors. Oh no!

The 2017 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report also includes this very promising stat: Monthly donors have a 90% retention rate. 90%!

2. Monthly giving increases lifetime donor value

Increasing lifetime donor value is a breeze when you have a 90% rate. Monthly donors give more often (every month) AND theycontinue giving for many years.

3. Monthly giving creates predictable revenue for your organization

If you’re like most fundraisers, you know how difficult it is to predict how much money you’ll raise month-to-month. You might have a list of donors who said they’d give next month, but a promise is very different from a check. It’s not money in the bank.

But, because monthly donors automatically get charged each month, predicting revenue over 3, 6, or even 12 months becomes so much easier!

4. Monthly giving lowers fundraising costs

I tell my clients that they shouldn’t celebrate that new donor who gave $25. The reason? The cost of acquisition often exceeds the small donations first-time donors typically give.

With a 90% retention rate, the cost to retain reoccurring donors goes way down.

5. Monthly giving lets you focus on building an actual relationship with donors

Most fundraisers admit that they don’t like asking for money over and over again. It can turn what should be a rewarding relationship into an awkward relationship.

Reoccurring giving removes the constant asking from your relationship with donors and allows you to focus on building partnerships with these donors. Onward and upward!

6. Monthly giving is less painful for donors

NPR pitches monthly giving by telling listeners to “give less”. Give less? Yes, give less now but give every month.

They’re tapping into a deeply human tendency to defer immediate pain. Parting with $10 now is much less painful than parting with $120 now. Less pain for the donor means that they’ll be more likely to give now.

7. Monthly giving is a huge convenience for donors

Lastly, let’s not forget the huge convenience of reoccurring giving. After signing up, there’s literally nothing they need to do except feel great about supporting their favorite cause every single month.

John Haydon