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Five tips to expand your non profit’s monthly donor base
publication date: Mar 8, 2016
author/source: Kathleen Grace
Canadians are some of the most generous people in the world when it comes to charitable giving. According to the 2015 CAF World Giving Index, Canada is the fourth most generous nation in the world, trailing only Myanmar, the United States and New Zealand. Millions of dollars are donated annually to Canada’s 86,000 registered Canadian charities which undoubtedly makes a massive impact on a national and international scale. However, donor retention is a major challenge for many charities, with just 25.4% of new donors making a gift the next year.
So, how do you keep your donors, and keep them giving? Cultivating a strong monthly giving program is one of the most effective methods of improving donor retention. It can take time to grow your monthly donor program, but it’s a worthy investment. Monthly donors stay loyal longer allowing your charity to raise more money and spend less doing so. To help build the number of monthly donors giving to your cause, here are five tips for your non-profit:
You received the one or more gifts from a donor already, so you know your cause resonates and matters to that donor. Inspire your donors to give monthly by sharing how a small, regular monthly gift can help your organization more than the equivalent gift made once per year.
There are many benefits to your charity when it has a steady stream of monthly donations. Not only do monthly donations increase donor loyalty helping you raise more funds over time, they save costs in marketing and fundraising and provide a stable and reliable revenue stream allowing your organization to better forecast and plan to best meet service demands. Your relationship with donors also improves as you can focus your communications on sharing the work their support has made possible, deepening their affinity for your cause, rather than continually asking them for more money. And for donors, giving monthly is easy. Donations are made automatically – always at the same time, and at a smaller amount so it’s less noticeable.
Once donors know their monthly support will help stretch their impact even further, they will understand the benefits and will likely be swayed into supporting your organization on a monthly basis. So, share the benefits with your donors on your website, in mailers, and other marketing materials and outreach.
2. Systemize your monthly donations and set yourself up for continuous learning
- What is the average age or demographic of your supporters?
- What is the average size of your donations?
- What is your rate of donor acquisition? Do you receive several one-time donations, or do the same donors give to you once or twice a year?
- What time of year is your peak season for donations?
- Why do people give? Is it because they were asked by a third party fundraiser or because of an event your charity organized?
The answers to your questions will help you gain a solid understanding of your current donor base which is a vital asset when developing a marketing strategy to increase your monthly donors. If you know your average one-time donation is $100.00, set a monthly $10.00 giving amount to attract one-time donors to your monthly giving program while also securing added support. But don’t assume you’ve got it right! Work to continually to gather more information and test your assumptions and your monthly donation program will grow stronger.
5. Simply ask
Kathleen Grace is the Donor Marketing Manager at CanadaHelps. CanadaHelps.org allows donors to safely donate and fundraise online for any registered Canadian charity and also provides charities the secure online fundraising platform and education resources they need to succeed. As a registered charity itself, CanadaHelps has facilitated more than $550 million in donations to Canadian charities online since launching in 2000. Over 16,000 Canadian charities fundraise online using the CanadaHelps platform. Stay connected with CanadaHelps on Twitter @CanadaHelps.
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