Core collaborator Rinku kindly put together this summary of the session with Nicole Stern on Monthly Giving. You can view the whole recording in our Resource Library. https://joindpp.org/resource-library

Here is a summary of the key takeaways:

  1. Stats: According to the Fundraising effectiveness survey, new donor retention is down by 21%, and 23% of those continued to give. The repeat donor retention is down by 12% and 60% of those continued to give. With the cost of donor acquisition being very high, these statistics of declining retention are alarming.
  2. Retention rates: Monthly and sustainable giving matters as it improves the retention rate by 2-3 times leading to an increase from 20% to up to 60%. This also translates into higher retention rates of multi-year donors, especially those that use Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT).
  3. Revenue: According to data from Target Analytics Sustainer Benchmarking report, the median revenue per new Single Gift donor is $73 which increases to $104 for new Monthly donors. Therefore, there is proven efficiency in converting the donor to a Monthly donor.
  4. Combined effect: The Higher Lifetime value of the donor is achieved through Higher Retention and Higher revenue per Donor. Studies show that over a period of 5 years, the donations from Annual Donors are only 14% of the donations from Monthly Donors, as the average gift value and retention rate of Annual Donors are low.
  5. Monthly program benefits: Include predictable revenue, long-term financial stability, incredible donor loyalty, great upgrade, and additional gift potential, fabulous planned and giving prospects, lower fundraising costs, and increased net income.


Methods for improving Monthly giving

  1. A good place to start is to receive a commitment from all internal stakeholders on the understanding of the long-term benefit of the Monthly program vs. Annual.
  2. Reviewing the donation channels, such as direct mail, is another key area to increase monthly donations along with reviewing and testing whether the communication sent to them includes the emphasis on Monthly giving.
  3. Companies can also adopt best practices from other successful organizations. The monthly giving information can be updated on print collateral and also on the website.


Acquisitions: It is easier to onboard a donor as a Monthly donor beginning with the initial gift instead of converting an existing donor to Monthly gifts. It is necessary to review the acquisition platforms such as websites, tele-fundraising & events, to see how and if Monthly Gifts are given priority.

Online & Mobile giving experience:

  1. The experience should be extremely user-friendly to increase adoption with Donors. The visitors should be able to find the donate icon immediately on your website, both on the landing page and on the navigation pane without any clutter.
  2. The monthly giving option should be a default selection for registration with some encouraging snippets on why the option is suitable.
  3. Simplifying the ask string and eliminating landing pages to directly enter the giving form once ‘Donate now’ is clicked.
  4. Reviewing data on which stage are donations being abandoned etc. will provide you insights to improve user experience. Testing of the online experience is also necessary to find areas for improvement.

Conversion of Donors:

  1. A conversion strategy is key and it is essential as well as easier to convert a donor right after the First Single Gift.
  2. Converting a donor through telefundraising and email are both optimal ways, with the former being the most effective.
  3. A conversion series can be used to target new single-gift donors to your files for outreach.
  4. ‘Thank you’ calling is a great tool to increase donor retention and average gift value. These calls can include some communication about monthly giving and encourage donors to sign up.

Sustainability Strategies – How to tackle expired or blocked Credit Cards:

  1. Credit Card Account Updater Service: Your payment gateway/processor can seek Account updater services, where updated card information of the donor is received from the acquirer and then charged. You can also strive to update the card information on file before the expiry of the Card and contact the Donor, and use this opportunity to increase gift value.
  2. Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) should be a Default option on your website so that Standing Instructions for monthly payments are directly authorized from the donor account. Inspiring or educating literature should be accompanied so donors are encouraged to accept the EFT channel.
  3. A multichannel recapture service such as mail, phone, and email with eye-capturing notification will also encourage donors to see the communication to update payment channels.

Finally, communication with Monthly donors should be a thought-through process and strike a balance with your strategy and journey mapping. Communication to Upgrade with your annual mail or with attached souvenirs will encourage donors, and the increment could be specified as small amounts such as $5 or $10. It is recommended to exclude those donors that have recently upgraded/downgraded. The process should be simple, i.e., include the options of the incremental amount to select and the payment option. With just a $5/month upgrade for say 200 givers, your donations will increase by $12,000 a year and that translates to $60,000 in 5 years!

developerp Changed status to publish March 16, 2023