The #1 Reason You Need a Recurring Giving Program and 3 Expert Examples | npENGAGE

The #1 Reason You Need a Recurring Giving Program and 3 Expert Examples

By on Feb 27, 2012


The Number One Reason to Start a Recurring Giving Program

What’s the #1 Reason you need to have a recurring giving program  as part of your overall online fundraising strategy? Let’s take a look.

Sustainers in Focus Part 1 revealed that donation revenue has the potential to increase by a whopping 50-300% per donor when you can get them to commit to sustained giving.

Which leads me to the number one reason you need a recurring giving program.

It’s about converting more online donors into recurring givers at the point where they give you that first gift.

It’s a win-win. You reduce cost and increase the likelihood of retaining donors while your donors benefit from simplicity – especially if you make all this happen online.

Here are ten more benefits of a recurring giving program along with a few great examples.

10 Benefits of a Recurring Giving Program

Benefits to your nonprofit:

  1. Reduces “donor inertia” by requiring the donors to put forth effort to cancel their gifts.
  2. Is among the most cost-effective, long-term fundraising methods. The gift is only solicited once, and, because it is handled electronically, processing costs are kept low.
  3. Provides a steady and reliable stream of income. Over time, dropout rates are low and predictable, so organizations can rely on future income more safely than upcoming direct mail or telemarketing efforts.
  4. Recurring givers tend to be excellent major and especially planned gift prospects due to their sustained commitment to your organization and cause.
  5. Is convenient and easy. Once set up with an appropriate technology solution, thousands of gifts can be handled electronically, reducing the burden on staff.
  6. Easily integrates with other fundraising methods being deployed at an organization. It is simple to add an option to your direct mail response cards, telemarketing scripts and online fundraising initiatives.

Donor Benefits:

  1. The cost-effective nature of recurring giving supports donors’ desire to know their money is going to programs instead of fundraising costs.
  2. Donors appreciate your need to have a reliable source of income that helps your organization make long-term commitments to projects, producing sustainable change over time.
  3. Recurring gifts are convenient and easy for donors. In addition to eliminating the need for checks and cutting down on direct mail and telemarketing calls a donor receives, recurring giving enables donors to give more over time vs what they could in a one time gift.
  4. With fewer direct mail pieces and acknowledgements going back and forth, recurring giving has a legitimate argument of being better for the environment.

Humane Society

Humane Society Recurring Giving Program

The Humane Society of the US did something very clever. Notice the BIG Orange button at the top? It stands out pretty well and asks you to “Donate Monthly”. You don’t see that on many nonprofit website. Most of the time you see “Donate Now” or something to that effect. “Donate Now” is good, but the Humane Society of the US is taking it up a notch and encouraging recurring giving from the beginning.

National Wildlife Federation

National Wildlife Federation Recurring Giving Program

If you go to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) donation page you’ll see the very top section asking you to select a gift amount along with a very visible “make this a monthly donation” check box. Although it’s not as in your face as the Humane Society, they are making this a core part of their donation form. They’re also keeping it simple by only requiring a donor to check a box.

Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles

Children's Hospital of Los Angeles Recurring Giving Program

Similar to NWF, but not identical, the Children’s Hospital of LA (CHLA) makes it clear that they support recurring giving on a monthly basis. They’ve made it one step more difficult by requiring a donor to click away to another page, but they’ve also done something very smart by attaching added value to becoming a monthly giver. They let you know that you’ll get your tax write off and become a “Miracle Maker” … and who doesn’t want to be a miracle maker?!

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Frank Barry, formerly worked at Blackbaud helping nonprofits use the Internet for digital communication, social media, and fundraising. He’s worked with a diverse group of organizations including LIVESTRONG, United Methodist Church, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, ChildFund Int’l, InTouch Ministries, Heifer Int’l, University of Notre Dame and University of Richmond. Along with writing for industry publications like Mashable and Social Media Today, Frank facilitates discussions, presents solo sessions and organizes panels for industry conferences such as NTC, SXSW, BBCon and numerous others. When he’s out and about he enjoys talking to interesting people about how they are changing the world – check out his interviews. Say Hi on Twitter – @franswaa or Google+

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