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Donor Participation Project

Monthly Donors are Special: Create a Tailored Communication Plan

Monthly sustainers are the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations. These committed donors provide predictable revenue streams that fund programs and services. Because monthly donors make such an impact, they deserve a specialized communication plan to convey their importance and encourage their loyalty.

First, welcome new monthly donors with a tailored onboarding series. Send a personal thank you email and letter, and make a thank you phone call. Share the specific impact of their monthly gift and how it will be used. This makes them feel appreciated and reinforces why they chose to become a sustainer.

Survey your current monthly donors to better understand their needs and interests. Learn how you can improve their experience and more deeply engage them. Look for opportunities in the survey results to strengthen your relationship.

Develop a quarterly schedule to connect with sustainers through emails, direct mail, and phone calls. Exclude them from general appeals, and instead focus communications on educating them about organizational impact and the importance of their ongoing support. Ask open-ended questions to spark conversation and identify ways to enhance their membership.

Promote an “insider’s experience” for monthly donors to increase their loyalty and lifetime value. For example, invite them to special virtual or in-person events to cultivate personal connections. Share behind-the-scenes updates or offer monthly giving perks like member discounts or free resources. Make them feel like vital partners in your mission.

Upgrading sustainers is an easy way to raise additional revenue from your most committed supporters. Send tailored appeals with simple options for increasing their gift, such as $5 or $10 more per month. Make it effortless by including a reply device with their updated payment information already populated. Keep asks infrequent and within an affordable range based on their current gift.

Monthly donors deserve specialized treatment. By creating a tailored communication plan that focuses on education, engagement, loyalty, upgrades and stewardship, you will build long-term relationships, maximize the lifetime value of sustainers, and gain increased support for the programs and services on which you rely. With the right nurturing, monthly donors can become your most loyal and generous benefactors.

View the full recording of this session in our Resource Library.

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