Your Monthly Sustainer Program: Part 2

By Tracy Coutain, Account Director, and Becky Fitzpatrick, Digital Marketing Manager

Best Practices

Earlier this month, we shared some insights on why your monthly donor program could become the most fruitful unit of your online fundraising program. If you missed our blog post you can read it here, or continue below to read some of our best practices for creating and growing your monthly donor base.

Treat your monthly donors like royalty. These donors are some of the most likely to become planned giving prospects and will quickly become a major source of your online revenue.

Limit communications to cultivations and one upgrade per year. Your relationship with monthly donors is significantly different than your small donor and one-time donor relationships. Monthly donors should be suppressed from your appeal communications, both in the mail and online. Asking for more money when they are already giving each month could deter them from staying a monthly donor. The only exception is if your organization has a special campaign or fundraising goal you’re trying to hit, but those appeals should have special language to recognize their monthly giving status and thank them for their constant support.

Instead of appeals, build out a unique communications stream of cultivations throughout the year that shows you care about your monthly donors. Surveys, quizzes, special event invitations, and annual recaps will show how important their opinions are and the impact their donations make for your programs. The only appeal they should receive each year is a renewal (only if your platform does not automatically renew them) and an upgrade (which should be sent about 6 months to a year after they first sign up).

Developing unique welcome kits and premiums for monthly donors will increase their interest in your organization. A welcome kit helps explain your organization in more depth and premiums help keep your organization top of mind. Branded tote bags, hats, pens, etc. remind the donor that they support your cause and help bring awareness for your brand from people who see the premiums in use.

With monthly giving up 24% since 2015, compared to the 18% growth for one-time giving, it’s imperative that nonprofits in every sector take this channel of fundraising seriously. For more in-depth or specialized best practices for your unique program, reach out to our Senior Account Director Barbra Schulman to schedule a personal consultation session,

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