As 2015 draws to a close, many organizations are anxiously implementing and awaiting returns on their end-of-the-year appeals. As the totals are tabulated and goals evaluated, we would offer a simple yet effective way to boost your annual fund in 2016 and beyond: Recurring gifts.
Setting up an automatic, monthly giving program has proven to be an effective tool for improving annual fund performance. In addition to providing regular income, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that recurring givers have lower attrition rates and a higher lifetime value. Here are a few things to consider as you explore recurring giving for your organization:
- First and foremost, be sure you are set up to accept recurring gifts, especially on your website. Include an option for donors to set up a monthly gift instead of a one-time donation. Payment can be done via a credit card, but be sure to also include an EFT option. Bank accounts change less frequently than credit cards, making them less susceptible to unintentional attrition.
- Beyond simply offering recurring gifts, be sure to promote this option in annual acquisition and renewal campaigns. Consider creating a giving club, similar to a planned giving society, for these donors. A matching gift can also serve as an incentive for people to sign up for or upgrade their monthly gifts, as shown in this Wall Street Journal article.
- Once a donor signs up for a recurring gift, make sure you have a plan in place to steward them. Some donors may want a gift acknowledgment every month, while others may just want one at the end of the year. Stewardship plans should also include communication for donors whose credit cards are canceled or changed, as well as an upgrade option.
- Recurring gifts are a great option for millennial donors, who are familiar and comfortable with monthly deductions through services like Netflix and Spotify. They appreciate the convenience, and it makes seemingly larger annual donations seem more manageable.
Recurring gifts grew 23% in 2013, and recurring donors gave double the annual amount of nonrecurring donors. (MobileCause)
AMPERAGE Fundraising Advisers is a full-service fundraising company whose mission is to move the needle for our clients. For more information on Amperage Fundraising Advisers or to make a recommendation for a future blog post, contact us today!