4 min read ✭  Mike Spear from the Moonshot Collective and Cameron Ripley join forces to talk about the benefits of launching an effective recurring donor program and the best ways to get started.

One-Time Gifts vs. Recurring Donations

On average, a recurring donor has upwards of a 5x higher donor lifetime value when compared to one time gifts and peer-to-peer fundraisers. There is no better way for an organization to gain recurring revenue than through automatically recurring donors. A great thing about recurring revenue is that you don’t have to spend a ton of time asking for it and it adds up to a greater amount of money overall over the lifetime of the donor. Recurring donations can help your organization grow because knowing what kind of revenue your nonprofit will yield ahead of time makes way for you to plan for your organizational growth ahead of time.

From a marketing standpoint, having recurring gifts changes the whole conversation with your donors. When someone signs up for your organization’s recurring donor program, you can immediately thank them for being a recurring donor and then be transparent throughout the rest of your relationship. Talk about why their gift is impactful, what it has done for your organization, and how it will continue to help your mission. As you build the relationship and make your donors a true part of your organization’s journey, you can make an ask to increase their gift size with each new year and they will likely feel good about being a big part of the mission at hand.

As we have mentioned in previous blogs, making your donors a part of your nonprofit’s journey and documenting each step you are taking to fulfill your mission is something that will push your organization far.

What Makes a Great Recurring Giving Program?

For starters, you want to make sure that you have an online donation form that is capable of accepting automatically recurring monthly gifts. Additionally, it’s important to group recurring donations in a separate callout on your website. If you do not have a great website, that is another great place to start before getting started really setting up your recurring donations.

Past ensuring your website specs are up to par, your organization can start to get very creative with branding your recurring monthly gifts. For example, Team Rubicon’s recurring donors are branded as the Support Squad while Charity: Water’s monthly giving program is referred to as The Spring, and Pencils of Promise has Passport.

Branded recurring donation programs gives people coming in as recurring donors a great sense of identity, making them feel like they are now part of something truly special. You can also play into the branding of your recurring donations with branded gear designed specially for your donors or opting them in to an insightful newsletter list that is geared towards the impact of monthly donations, or any other experience with the recurring donation brand that a one-time giver might not get otherwise.

It’s important to make your recurring donors feel unique and important. Additionally, give them tangible reasons why recurring donations are a better way to give than a one-time gift. Commit to coming up with something creative that stands out to your supporters and not only let them upgrade their investment, but also just feel more invested to your mission.

Another thing to consider is picking a convenient time of year to market your recurring donation program. Many causes have their own month or a holiday of some kind, so tying it to a prominent date will help your nonprofit campaign its recurring donor program.

Your organization can utilize the sprint framework to figure out what your approach to your recurring giving program is going to be. Put your team together and think though how you want to brand the program as well as how you are going to make your donors to feel a part of your organization’s journey and its mission overall.

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Does your organization already have a recurring donation program? How is it branded? What roadblocks are you hitting that you want support with? Give us your feedback by tweeting us @CommunityBoost or dropping a comment below. 

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