How To Start A Monthly Giving Program (In 6 Simple Steps)

If high inflation and economic uncertainty are affecting your nonprofit’s revenue, consider adding a monthly giving program to your fundraising strategy. Learn how to start one in six simple steps.


There are many reasons why nonprofits should have a monthly giving program. Here’s how you can start yours!

    1. Know the value of your monthly donors.

    The healthiest nonprofits have high-dollar donors and a collection of monthly donors. A strong monthly giving program shows that your organization’s mission and theory of change are resonating with your community! Make sure your team sees monthly donors as a vital source of organizational strength and an area for growth. Share information that shows their value: The average recurring donor gives 42% more in one year than donors who give one-time gifts.

    2. Make the ask—empathetically.

    Ask the right people in the right way. Focus on individuals who have already demonstrated support for your mission, such as one-time donors. With so many people feeling the effects of crises around the world, your messaging needs to strike the right tone. Past donors may be struggling financially, so avoid asks that could come across as insensitive. Acknowledging challenges that might prevent donors from giving now could encourage them to give in the future.

    3. Get your board members on board.

    Consider asking your board members to join the monthly giving program to demonstrate their ongoing support, or start a friendly staff competition to see who can bring in the most recurring donors. Whatever you do, track your results to determine which outreach method (email, social media, phone call) yields the highest “yes rate.” In the process, you might uncover a star fundraiser on your staff!

    4. Spell out what monthly giving will accomplish.

    Present your donors with a cause worth supporting. How exactly will the world be better if someone gives $15 a month to support your work? Does it mean a month of clean water for a dozen people who are displaced? What does $100 a month do? Let your donors know!

    5. Make them feel oh-so-special!

    Many nonprofits have an exclusive name for their core monthly supporters. They could be your champions, guardians, friends, partners for change, or VIPs. The key is to link it back to your mission. For example, the American Civil Liberties Union calls their monthly donors the “Guardians of Liberty” and sends them a membership card upon joining. The goal? Treat your monthly donors like insiders.

    6. Don’t be strangers!

    To treat monthly donors like insiders, you can’t speak to them like strangers. The messages they receive need to take a different tone than the messages you send to prospective donors who are likely less familiar with your work. Don’t leave monthly donors out of planned communications, but do make them a separate segment (start with your thank you email series!) and let them know how much you appreciate them for being your most loyal supporters.

Don’t miss Part 1 of our monthly giving series, “Why To Start A Monthly Giving Program.”

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Featured Photo: Give a Child in Africa the Gift of Reading by EIFL
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