Monthly Giving Majority Rules!

By April 3, 2017Blog
Monthly Giving Majority Rules

Does your organization have a monthly giving program? If so, you may have noticed that your retention rates are higher and the annual sustainer “rollover” revenue is growing.

If you think of your monthly givers as part of your band, then consider single-gift donors your fans – you need both to really jam. For many of the organizations we work with, monthly givers will soon outnumber single-gift donors, and, when that happens, best to already be playing by the Monthly Giving Majority Rules. What are the rules? you ask. Here’s the score:

Rule #1 – Other campaigns will soften (if they’re currently maximized) because the “best” part of the donor pool is gone. Your more engaged, mission-driven donors become a part of the recurring gift cycle, leaving the less enthusiastic (but well-meaning) donors to support your annual fund campaigns.


Monthly Giving Revenue Buckets Before


Monthly Giving Revenue Buckets After

Rule #2 – Sustainer conversion and retention are equally important – focus on both! Why convert if you can’t retain? Monthly giving donors have higher lifetime values and retention rates than single-gift donors, so it’s crucial to your success to give similar time and effort to both objectives.

Rule #3 – A comprehensive Communications Plan is key in keeping your team on track. A solid plan will address your objectives (conversion, retention, upgrade, stewardship), identify tactics for each objective (email, social media, remarketing, surveys, letters, postcards, telemarketing), and determine the schedule for each tactic.

Rule #4 – Single-gift donors are still integral to success – don’t ignore them. There will be folks who never convert to monthly giving, but they are so important to your program. Keep them updated, treat them with respect, and they will reward you.

Rule #5 – There will be data-related issues you can’t predict – someone needs to mind the store. Make sure your database administrator can handle processes and problems in a monthly giving majority.

Rule #6 – Give your team authority to make them happy. Let donors take a break rather than cancel. Make it easy for them to catch up on their payments if their credit card expires, or better yet, offer an EFT option. Don’t be so focused on policy and rules, and give your front line the power to make decisions that will delight your donors.

Follow these rules as your monthly giving file grows, and ensure that your organization will keep rockin’ with sustainable, dependable, and ongoing revenue.

Want to learn more about monthly giving programs? Email me at

About the Author:

Kate Ryan, Account Director
Kate has more than 10 years of experience in a variety of fundraising roles. Previously, she served as Director of Membership and Database Management at the Nine Network, St. Louis’ public television station. There she was responsible for direct mail, telemarketing, web donations, on-air acquisition, gift acknowledgement, database management, and managing the Membership and Viewer Services team. As a DMW Account Director, Kate puts her strategic, creative, and budgeting skills to work in service of several public broadcasting clients, who benefit from her deep and varied experience in public media and understanding of member data and how the two combine to result in compelling fundraising campaigns.

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