Your nonprofit relies on donations to power its day-to-day operations, from providing essential services to the community to launching new programs and events. However, once you receive these donations, are you doing everything possible to retain donors for the long term? 

Many nonprofits struggle to engage existing donors and encourage those they acquire to continue to give year round. A great way to confront this issue is by setting up a monthly giving program. When donors sign up for monthly giving, they’ll automatically donate a certain amount to your nonprofit each month. A monthly giving program can help establish a reliable revenue stream for your nonprofit, giving your organization more room in its budget to achieve its goals and give back to the community. 

Use these essential steps to encourage recurring giving and pull in support for your monthly giving program: 

  • Set goals for your monthly giving program.
  • Add monthly giving to your donation page. 
  • Market your monthly giving program widely.

Setting up a monthly giving program can be difficult, but with the right tools and strategies, your nonprofit can make recurring giving a regular part of its fundraising strategy. Let’s begin.

Set goals for your monthly giving program.

Before you launch your monthly giving program, you’ll need to set concrete objectives to create a clear roadmap for the future. This plan of action will guide your strategies and help you assess whether your giving program is on track. Your goals should be ambitious, yet reasonable and based on factors like your nonprofit’s size and your existing giving program. 

Consider the following when forming tangible goals for your monthly giving program:

  • The number of donors you hope to sign up for recurring giving. This should be an annual goal and continue evolving from year to year. 
  • The amount of revenue you want to generate within a given time frame. You might vary factors like your suggested donation amounts to help achieve this goal. 
  • Your ideal monthly donor retention rate. On average, this rate tends to be higher than the average donor retention rate, but your nonprofit should always focus on improving from year to year. 

To set these goals, reflect on your current donor base. Review analytics over the last year, such as donor behavior based on donation recency, frequency, and amount. You’ll also want to consider your nonprofit’s needs and how achieving certain objectives can help your organization advance its mission.

Add monthly giving to your donation page.

By displaying your monthly giving option on your donation page, site visitors or existing donors that aren’t familiar with your monthly giving option can learn about it and sign up. Your monthly giving prompt should be straightforward and facilitate an easy sign-up process. 

For example, you can list suggested monthly giving amounts, such as $5, $10, or $25, with clickable buttons so donors can select an amount that fits their budget. Be sure to also include a write-in box to allow flexibility and let donors with any giving capacity participate. Multiple people donating just a few dollars each month can make a huge difference in your fundraising over time, and donors will appreciate that they can make an impact, no matter how small or large their contribution is. 

To encourage people to navigate to your donation page and sign up for monthly giving, you’ll need to make sure that your donation page is well-designed. According to Donately, the following online donation tools and strategies can help your nonprofit maximize support: 

  • Incorporate your nonprofit’s branding such as your color scheme, fonts, and theme to ensure consistency across your website and build brand visibility. 
  • Apply ample space between the donation prompts so donors can easily scan your page and fill it out without any issues.
  • Add a secure payment processor that will protect donors’ billing information and automatically transfer contributions each month to your nonprofit’s bank account. 
  • Optimize your donation page for mobile users to expand your audience. In fact, 360MatchPro reported that mobile-friendly donation pages yield 34% more donations. By empowering people to conveniently access your donation page from their mobile devices, donors will be more likely to give and even sign up for monthly giving. 

If you’re not sure how to enhance your donation page, work with an online donation platform. Many donation platforms will automatically offer tools and features like mobile-optimization and make it easy to adjust your content to your nonprofit’s needs. Invest in a donation platform that works within your budget and offers comprehensive features to take your donation page to the next level. 

Market your monthly giving program widely.

Implement a strong outreach campaign to bring attention to your monthly giving program and provide instructions on how to get involved. After all, how can supporters sign up for recurring giving if they don’t know that it’s an option? With the right marketing tactics, your nonprofit can successfully spread the word about monthly giving and demonstrate the importance of this program.

Promote your monthly giving program through a multi-channel strategy, using tools like:

  • Email. Segment your email list so you can target your ideal monthly giving audience. For example, it can be beneficial to reach out to annual donors that have given for multiple years and new donors that have given at least more than once. By tailoring your emails to specific audiences instead of sending general requests to sign up, your donors will be more receptive to taking next steps. 
  • Website. Consider developing a page on your website that’s dedicated to explaining the monthly giving program and its impact. Use this opportunity to highlight the benefits of monthly giving over one-time donations and to explain how the funds will be used to support your nonprofit’s mission. 
  • Social media. Create and post engaging graphic designs that explain your monthly giving program and how people can get involved. Consider adding a memorable hashtag promoting your monthly giving campaign so more people can learn about your organization and sign up for monthly giving. 

Keep your audience in mind and tailor your content to them. Along with marketing the benefits of monthly giving for your nonprofit and the community it serves, articulate the benefits for donors. For example, you might discuss the convenient donation process and rewarding role they’ll play in your organization’s journey.

With a strong monthly giving program, your nonprofit can boost its digital fundraising and create a reliable donation pipeline to fund its operations, including events, programs, services, and other important needs. Set concrete goals and make sure your supporters know about your monthly giving program and how to get involved. Then, once your recurring giving program starts to gain traction, thank donors for their contributions so you can retain their support for years to come. Good luck!