Your Monthly Sustainer Program: Part 1

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

Why Monthly Donors?

2016 is the year of monthly sustainers. Multiple reports from industry leaders in the fundraising sector have shown a clear trend toward monthly giving, with some nonprofits seeing 17% of their total online revenue coming from this channel*. Monthly giving is one of the fastest growing methods of online giving, and is growing significantly faster than one-time giving.

More and more donors are converting to this method of giving because it’s easier than remembering to give at certain times of the year, it makes a greater impact on the causes they fight for and because less emails are asking them to convert. Donors prefer to ‘set it and forget it’. Once they become a monthly donor, they stop receiving monthly appeals and don’t have to take any other steps to make a contribution. With the always evolving platforms available for online giving, most donors won’t even have to take too many steps to renew their support each year.

But why is monthly giving so much more valuable than one-time donations? Although monthly donations tend to be much smaller than your average one-time gift size, the monthly donations add up and generally total more at the end of the year than the average gift size. It’s revenue you can count on to come in every month!

Monthly donors also have a higher lifetime value. These donors are giving more often and more money overtime, and are therefore more dedicated to your organization. In fact, the monthly donor pool is a great place to fish for planned giving prospects. These supporters are truly engaged and active with your organization, and are likely prospects to dedicate part of their will to your organization to make an even greater impact after they pass.

If you don’t ask, you won’t receive, and many nonprofits are taking this to heart by including specialized emails with the goal to grow their monthly sustainer base. Others are including highlighted asks in regular direct mail and email appeals, newsletters and at in-person events. Next week we’ll be sharing some best practices for your monthly donor program, so keep an eye out on our blog!

*M+R 2016 Benchmarks Study

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