Why Recurring Giving Matters

Welcome to the Recurring Giving Course! I’m glad you’re here. That means you’re ready to invest in your organization’s long-term fundraising success and retention goals.

In this lesson, you will learn:

  • Why recurring donations are a big deal
  • What you need to offer an online monthly giving program

How a Monthly Giving Program Can Boost Your Fundraising Results

Monthly giving can be a valuable part of your overall fundraising strategy. Well-positioned recurring giving options will allow you to increase the size and volume of your donations. Simply put, if you’re not offering supporters a way to give a recurring gift, you’re missing out on donations.

More Money.
According to Network for Good’s donation data, the average recurring donor will give 42% more in one year than those who give one-time gifts. The average monthly recurring gift for Network for Good clients is $52. Over 1 year, that’s a $624 donation!

More Donors.
A smart monthly giving program will help you reach new segments and convert donors who may otherwise not give. Recurring gifts help donors fit giving into their monthly budgets and allow them to see that being more generous is possible. If donors feel like they can’t give enough to make a difference, they may not give at all.

Attract Younger Donors.
Though Millennials may not be ready to give larger individual gifts, you have an opportunity to raise more over time. The Millennial Impact Report found that 52% of Millennials are interested in monthly giving as a means to give back in a meaningful way.

More Loyal Donors.
Monthly giving programs have higher retention rates that get stronger over time. New donor retention rates average less than 23%. Monthly giving programs typically enjoy retention rates over 80% after one year and 95% after five years. You’ll get a better return on your acquisition investment if you can encourage more donors to become monthly donors.

More Engaged Donors.
Recurring donors often become your most engaged supporters, actively volunteering, advocating, and fundraising on your behalf.

Lifetime Value.
According to fundraising expert Dr. Adrian Sargeant, a 10% improvement in your donor retention rate can = 200% in donor lifetime value.

Get the Right Online Tools for Monthly Giving

For a successful monthly giving program, it’s important to have the right online fundraising tools to make the whole experience as easy as possible for your donors (and your staff). Here’s what you’ll need:

A donation page built for giving.
Your online donation page must offer an easy and clear monthly giving option. Ideally, you’ll have a page dedicated
to monthly giving campaigns, as well as a strong monthly giving ask on your standard campaign pages. (Hint: this means you’ll need more than a wimpy checkbox for recurring giving. More on this later.)

A branded design.
Your online giving experience should look and feel like your nonprofit’s website and campaign materials. Having a professional and familiar design will make your donor more likely to give. The best part? They will also give more! Our data shows that donors will give an average of 43% more on a branded giving page. Donors are also 31% more likely to initiate a recurring gift on a branded giving page. (Need a branded donation form that encourages donors to set up monthly giving? Learn more about Network for Good’s fundraising pages.)

Easy follow up and admin.
Your online donation platform should automatically send receipts and thank yous, and allow donors to easily update their information.

Customizable options.
Your online donation page should allow you to suggest donation amounts, set custom gift strings, and add impact labels to reinforce what a monthly donation can do.

Reports and tracking.
You’ll want to track your progress, so your online giving system should also offer real-time reporting of gifts and allow you to track monthly donors over time. Using spreadsheets and graphs never felt so good!

A clean and clear website.
Are you talking about your monthly giving program on your website? Make sure to include details about monthly giving and why it matters on your key pages, including your “Why Give” page, your home page, and pages where you’re highlighting donor impact. Your website should make a compelling case for giving and provide fast and easy ways to click through and donate online.

Email marketing.
Use a reputable email marketing service to send email appeals, thank yous, and impact reports. This will allow you to segment your email list and tailor your messages for monthly donors and recurring giving campaigns. You want to communicate with your monthly givers and prospective sustainers in a very specific way, so a one-size-fits-all approach to email outreach just won’t do.


Fact:  On average, recurring donors who give through Network for Good’s fundraising pages give 42% more per year than one-time donors.


Need help making the case for investing in a monthly giving program at your organization? Download this two-page summary to share with your staff, your boss, or your board.


Key Takeaways:

  • A smart monthly giving program can help you acquire donors, boost revenue, and improve your retention rates.
  • Online giving can make recurring giving for you and your donors.
  • Before launching your monthly giving program, make sure you have the right tools in place.
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