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We live in a subscription-based world. We have monthly subscriptions to our TV shows, our meal plans, our self-care boxes, our hobbies, our kid’s education and even our dog treats, all via a fee that magically gets taken from our bank account. Shouldn’t our philanthropic efforts also be streamlined so seamlessly too?

Well, they can. A well-executed monthly recurring donor program brings your campaign efforts into 2021 and can be wildly impactful when done right. Recurring donors are 440% more valuable than single time donors, so it is worth the effort.

Here are our top tips for developing your recurring giving program.

Have a Dedicated Page

Most nonprofits have their “Donate” button at the top of their website. That is Day 1 of Web Design for Nonprofits. Some might even have the option to donate monthly on their form. But if you really want to gain more recurring donors, it helps to have a page dedicated entirely to it.

Won’t it get confusing to have two donation pages? No, not really. On your main donation page, you can have a link at the top for those who might be interested in becoming recurring donors. You can also link it under your “Get Involved” tab on the main menu. Don’t discourage people from becoming one time donors, but have more than simply a toggle.

A "donate monthly" toggle is a great start. But we can kick it up a notch.

Treat Recurring Donors as VIPs

Because they are. They are statistically the ones that allow you to keep doing what you do. Not only do they give monthly, they are likely to give an additional one-time donation throughout the year. They deserve the white glove treatment.

Treating them like VIPs is really just acknowledging their gift in a meaningful way. Here are a few easy ways to do that:

Name your monthly giving program

Call it a family or a team, something that honors them as being part of the inner circle of your organization

Have different levels of donors

Allow them to “rise up in the ranks” based on how much they give on a monthly basis

Provide additional communication

Create some sort of newsletter or report specifically for them to acknowledge their impact

And, of course, explain exactly why it is so important to your mission to have monthly donors. It is not just about pandering to their ego. They deserve to know exactly what type of difference their donation will make and how essential it is to the organization to have that sustained support.

Show it with Impact Tiles

How do you show potential donors what kind of impact they can make? Why, with impact tiles, of course. Impact tiles communicate where a donation goes and what it accomplishes. By making them creative and emotional, you can effectively drive more visitors to become donors.

Here’s an example of how to use impact tiles:

$5 a month

Life-saving medicine for a sick child

For $5 a month, you can provide vaccines and other medicine that could save the life of a child.

Donate
$10 a month

A week of meals for a food-insecure person

For $10 a month, you can provide a week’s worth of food to someone who is food insecure.

Donate
$25 a month

30 Meals to the food pantry

For $25 a month, you can provide 30 complete meals to the community food pantry for those in need.

Donate

A lot of potential donors want to help but might talk themselves out of it because “$5 won’t make a difference.” Show them that they CAN make a difference, no matter what amount they are capable of giving.

Have Fun with an Exchange Program

Here’s a fun alternative to the impact tiles. Instead of showing how much $10 will do for the organization, consider showing how little the donor would have to give up to make such a big difference.

$5 a month

Do you really need one more overpriced coffee?

For $5 a month, you can provide vaccines and other medicine that could save the life of a child.

Donate
$10 a month

Give up one Uber ride to somewhere walkabe

For $10 a month, you can provide a week’s worth of food to someone who is food insecure.

Donate
$25 a month

Think of it as one forgotten Amazon order

For $25 a month, you can provide 30 complete meals to the community food pantry for those in need.

Donate

This is a great way to add something lighthearted to a really heavy mission. While it is important that the donor knows what the impact will be, you don’t want to overload their emotions. It is ok to have some fun when talking to your donors.

Don't Forget Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

There is often this misconception that there is Fundraising, but monthly donors are something else. Nope. Not only should you focus efforts on recurring donors, you can use many of the same campaign methods you are used to. For example, you can develop a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign centered around monthly donors. 

Example: Set up a dedicated page, just like you would for any other campaign. Instead of working to raise a certain dollar amount, work to gain a certain number of new monthly donors. And then ask your supporters to help you. Something like:

Ask 10 friends for 10 days to give $10 a month

Centering the goal around numbers and mimicking some of the social media language and methods they are used to (ie: all those photo sharing challenges) can prove very effective.

Offer Incentives

You can’t bank on 100% altruism 100% of the time. Of course, everyone giving their time or money is generous, but offering a small incentive can nudge someone to pull the trigger when they are on the fence. A small gift, like a tote or a mug, not only might incentivize someone to donate, but it can also keep your organization top of mind for additional donations and put you in front of other new potential donors.

What Now?

In a nutshell, recurring donors are your bread-and-butter but not your ride-or-die. Show them how necessary they are to the organization, prove to them the impact they can have, and continuously treat them like the VIPs they are. 

Your website can be a huge factor in increasing how many monthly donors contribute to your cause. Mittun is the premier website provider for nonprofits and mission-based brands. If you’d like some assistance with your website or campaigns, we are happy to help.

Are you driving website visitors to become recurring donors?

Contact Mittun for a free assessment today.

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