Monthly giving on the rise. If you haven’t capitalized on this, what are you waiting for? This post won’t focus too much on starting or growing a monthly/recurring giving program, although if you’re interested in that, here’s more information.
I want to focus on making connections with the monthly donors you already have.
We’re edging into summer, and while this is a slower fundraising season, it’s a good time to connect with your donors, whether they’re brand new or longtime supporters.
Make a plan
Create a plan for your monthly donor communication. Although I’m emphasizing summer, you need to communicate with your monthly donors (and all donors) throughout the year. I like to say because these donors support you every month, you should reciprocate by communicating with them at least once a month.
You can incorporate this into your communications calendar. Fill it with ways to show gratitude and share updates. You can use different channels. Here are some ideas to get started.
Send something by mail
How often do you get something personal in the mail? Not often, right? And when you do, it stands out.
Take some time this summer to create a postcard thank you and/or update or send a handwritten note. Your donors will really appreciate it.
Create a video
Videos are a great way to connect and they’re not that hard to create. If you can personalize it, all the better. Otherwise, you can create a general one that thanks your monthly donors.
You can also create a video that gives a behind-the-scenes look at your organization or a virtual tour.
Spruce up those automatic thank you emails
Those automatic thank you emails you may have set up don’t count as part of your monthly donor connection plan. It’s fine to create these, but you don’t have to. While these monthly acknowledgments are helpful, they’re usually uninspiring.
Spruce them up a little and change the content every few months. Use this as an opportunity to share some updates.
Here’s one that could use some work – Thank You for Your Recurring Donation. You have helped us continue our mission in a meaningful way.
Talk about vague. A specific example of how a donor helped would improve this. Many of these acknowledgments are just receipts and a receipt is not a thank you.
Here’s a better one.
Thank you for donating to Malala Fund!
More than 130 million girls around the world are out of school today. Malala Fund believes that girls are the best investment in the future peace and prosperity of our world. Your gift supports our work to see every girl learn and lead without fear.
Follow Malala Fund on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and blog for updates on our fight for girls’ education.
Besides thanking their donors, they also offer other ways to engage.
Get noticed with an enticing subject line
Most likely you’ll communicate by email, which has its pros and cons. It’s easier and less expensive than a postal mailing, but since people get an enormous amount of email, they might miss your message.
One way to get noticed is to use an enticing subject line. Here’s one I like from Pet Partners – Your monthly gift in action
It goes on to tell a story about a therapy dog who visits with soldiers before and after their deployments.
Here’s another good one, although it wasn’t specifically for monthly donors – I found a baby bird! What should I do?
This definitely captures your attention and makes you want to read more.
Keep your donors engaged with good content
Congratulations, your donor opened your email message. You want to keep them engaged. The email I mentioned above gave you information about what to do if you find a baby bird, along with a link to a “handy chart.”
Be sure to address your donors by name. I would also recommend separate communication for new donors and longer-term donors.
Welcome new monthly donors. You can go a step further with different messages for brand new donors and single gift donors who have upgraded to monthly. Be sure to give special attention to longer-term donors. The average donor retention rate for monthly donors is 90% and you don’t want that to go down.
You can give shout outs in your newsletter and social media, but those won’t be as personal. Some organizations include a cover letter or note for their monthly donors in their newsletters. You could also create separate newsletters for monthly donors.
The key is to stay in touch and keep making connections. The post below will give you more ideas. Maybe you can think of others. And you don’t have to come with 12 different ones. It’s okay to repeat them every few months.
Don’t ignore your valuable, monthly donors. Keep making those important connections.