2 min read ✭ Learn how to launch a recurring giving program in just five steps. 

If you are a nonprofit marketer, you’ve likely at some point heard about the importance of building up your recurring giving program. And it’s true, the data is very clear, a recurring donor vs. a first-time donor has a 5 to 6X higher lifetime value. However, when we talk to most organizations, due to a lack of resources they have not overly prioritized implementing their own recurring giving program. 

Our founder Cameron Ripley sat down with the Head of Creative of Charity: Water a few months ago and even Charity: Water said that recurring giving is something they felt really late to the game in implementing, but acknowledge that launching Spring, their recurring giving program, has been an absolute game-changer in improving their donation growth and predictability.

Let’s talk through the steps necessary to launch a recurring giving program. 

Step 1: Tech Check

Make sure that you have a button on your donation page to make a recurring gift vs. a one-time gift. If this isn’t on your page, this will be the first thing that you need to fix and if your donation platform doesn’t have this option, you may need to move platforms. 

Step 2: Appeal Creative

Now its time to think about your recurring giving program or appeal. Think about your three Ts—how do you make your donation ask tangible, transparent and then take control and guide someone to give. We highly recommend checking out some of the best of the best recurring giving programs. Charity: Water’s The Spring, Pencils of Promise’s Passport and many more. Really ask yourself why they are positioning the way that they are.

Step 3: Foundation

It’s time to roll up our sleeves and build the digital assets needed to market the appeal—the landing page, the banners, the email automations, etc. Right now, if you go to Charity Water’s home page you see The Spring right at the top of their home page. Its not buried, they are proud of this program. We also recommend creating some sort of video asset that explains the power of your recurring giving program. It’s not mandatory, but they are proven to help improve conversion rates long-term.

Step 4: Traffic

Next, it’s time to drive traffic. So many times we come up with a great creative campaign, but nothing happens and that’s because we aren’t putting equal or enough time into gaining traction and driving as much traffic as possible. How to scale your recurring giving program could be a whole webinar in itself, but if we can give you one tip, it’s to test Facebook and Instagram ads as soon as possible. Charity: Water shared with me they are currently seeing upwards of a 7X return on ad spend to recurring donor revenue. Facebook and Instagram ads are incredibly scalable.

Step 5: Optimization

From there, continue to test, improve and optimize. The power of recurring giving is that it’s a campaign you can run all day, every day. It’s about building a community, sharing the impact, and creating virality.

Last pro tip, if you have not downloaded Classy’s State of Modern Philanthropy 2019 be sure to do so, it’s a very valuable resource.

Best of luck in building and scaling a recurring giving campaign, don’t hesitate to reach out if we can help. If you liked this piece be sure to share it with your friends and colleagues.

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