5 Ways to Build Momentum in your Monthly Giving Program

Part 6 in Creating a Monthly Giving Program

David A. Mersky imageLast month described a step-by-step plan to make the ask, this month we turn to how you can build momentum in your monthly giving program.

  1. Know your donorsWhen communicating with donors, particularly to invite them to become monthly donors, it is critical to know who they are. You can accomplish that by segmenting your list. For example, you could divide your list into:
    • Current donors
    • Never-evers or prospects

    Then you can develop a persona for each segment. A persona is your vision of one person who represents everyone in the segment.

  2. Create packages, not just a letterA package is more than a letter.It begins with the outer envelope. What size and color will you use? Will it have teaser copy? How will it be addressed? Do you use as real stamp, metered postage or pre-printed indicia? There is no one right answer other than it should look and feel different from everything else you mail.The other components include the letter, a reply device, a piece of collateral material that explains the features and benefits of monthly giving and a reply envelope with pre-paid postage.All of this is to make a statement that this is a special invitation to join your most treasured circle of supporters.
  3. Test and measureWant to know if you chose the right envelope or if the stamp does matter? Split each segment and test one variable. In this way you might learn what is more effective and yields a higher rate of return or a larger average gift. Always seek to improve and better the results of the previous mailing.
  4. Make an appeal each yearA monthly giving program in not a “one and done” experience. Commit yourself to the long haul—at least five years. And, begin anew each year to reach out to those who have joined your community of donors since last year’s cycle of monthly giving invitations. Create a new theme not only for your newest donors, but all those who were previously invited but were not ready to come to the party.
  5. Ask for upgrades—particularly at key pointsFinally, plan to ask for donation upgrades along the way. For example, when a donor has made 24 consecutive monthly gifts, it may be time to recognize that and ask for an increase to the next level of giving. You could ask a $10 monthly donor if she could increase her gift to $15 per month. Or for the monthly donor whose aggregate giving has amounted to $1,000 since joining the program, why not ask him to consider an increase to get to the next level of giving—$2,500—in the same timeframe as their first $1,000 of monthly giving.

NEXT MONTH: Key Components of the Monthly Giving Ask

LAST MONTH: A Step-by-Step Plan to Ask for Monthly Gifts