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Get ready to rock-n-roll in Nashville, TN, at the Raise fundraising conference at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum!

Sept 9 & 10

Get ready to rock-n-roll in Nashville, TN, at the Raise fundraising conference!

Sept 9 & 10

My 5-Step Framework to Build a Monthly Giving Program

Reading Time: 6 minutes

What makes a monthly giving program for nonprofit organizations successful?

Here’s a sneak peek into the steps from my 5-step framework (which will be featured in even more detail in my book that comes out in September!)

Whether you are just starting OR looking to refresh or audit your current program, this episode is packed with insights and practical tips to get you on the right track.

I’m diving into the key questions you should ask around the why and structure of your program, what it means to create a “herd mentality”, and how to craft an irresistible identity that resonates with your mission and values.

You’ll also learn how to avoid gift abandonment by creating highly convertible, seamless, intuitive landing pages. Even a compelling headline, an uplifting image, and the strategic use of social proof will inspire action on your “Donate Now” button.

1. Create the Product: Your monthly giving program is a product of your nonprofit organization

First, think about the last time you made a purchase. It’s likely that a whole team sat around and deeply discussed market analysis why it had to be this color, this name, the exact price, and where and how it would need to be marketed. It was given a SKU number and all of the hundreds of other decisions that come together when creating a product that is going to be delivered into the hands of consumers.

Secondly, remember that your monthly giving program is a product — it is not just a checkbox on a donation form. It is a unique product that your organization is offering to supporters. Just like any new product, it needs a solid marketing strategy, a solid budget, and a team to promote it.

3 Key Questions to Ask While Creating Your Monthly Giving Program

When it comes to creating your monthly giving product, there are a few key questions you need to ask right at the beginning:

  • What is the reason for your product to exist?
  • What is the impact it is intended to have?
  • What structure of a recurring donor program aligns with the mission and values of your organization?

Once you have answered these questions, it’s time to create the identity of your monthly giving program.

How to Name Your Monthly Giving Program

Naming your monthly giving program is a crucial step. A name gives your monthly giving program an identity — it helps build a brand around it and create engaging marketing materials. Ideally, the name should reflect your organization’s mission and values, evoke a sense of belonging and community, and be easy to pronounce and spell.

For more tips on how to name your monthly giving program, you can listen to episode 107 of the Missions to Movement podcast.

You can also download my brainstorm guide to help you name your monthly giving program.

2.  Make it Easy: Creating easy and accessible user experience for your monthly giving donors

In a world where online shopping and one-click purchases are the norm, our donation processes need to keep up. We, as consumers, expect a seamless and intuitive experience, and that should mirror exactly what happens when we go to make a gift.

This step is all about simplifying the donation process for your supporters and creating a professional, user-friendly website that’s going to build trust and really make donors feel confident and excited to support your cause. This is the crucial moment where the act of someone saying “I’m in” takes place.

If our donation process is complicated or confusing, that will lead to either frustration or abandonment of the gift. We want the donation process to be simple.

I’ve had a lot of conversations with graphic designers who struggle sometimes of proving their ROI, or the return on the investment of good branding. I can tell you from many conversations with organizations it is invaluable. I can tell you from my own company, people go to my website and they love it. A well-designed website and social media presence is your storefront.

3 Keys to Creating an Accessible Experience for Monthly Donors

    • Use Microsoft Clarity to analyze the user experience – This is a free tool you can embed into the backend of your website to view heat maps of where users tend to drop off the page while scrolling.
    • Display the most crucial information first – Provide all of the necessary information for donors with a form or a button to take action right at the top of your page.
    • Show social proof – Some of the strongest persuasion comes from our peers. FOMO, or fear of missing out, is powerful when it comes to persuading potential donors. This could be by creating a sense of urgency such as, “Be one of the first 50 founding members,” or by having time-sensitive matching opportunities.

How do you magnetically attract your monthly donors?

In this episode, I am diving into step three of my Monthly Giving Framework, which is all about calling in your believers.

We’ll discuss the essence of crafting a giving program with inclusive and accessible copy, how to find aligned partners that will spread the word, and the importance of a lead generation strategy that’s “always on.”

Get ready to scribble down some serious strategies to help you generate a sense of belonging, identity, community, and connection, with examples from Miry’s List and Movember.

By embracing the power of storytelling and clear messaging, we can nurture donors into a joyful, grateful community that’s here to stay.

3. Call in the Believers: 3 ways to magnetically attract your monthly giving donors

The first part of calling in your believers is giving them the space to be creative in how they want to support you. Understand who your super fans are and let them have the space to be unique and take the cause into their own world and space so it is meaningful for them.

Secondly, your copy should be accessible. When writing marketing copy, it should be around the sixth-grade level. You can use an app like Hemingway to analyze your copy and get a grade score.

Third, find really great partners. They can be other nonprofits or corporate brands. Finding values-aligned partners can help get your word out to other people who otherwise may never hear about it.

Monthly giving is not just about a donation. It is about giving people a way to channel their purpose consistently.

In this episode, we’re unveiling the secrets behind making compelling asks – and the most powerful strategies for recurring donation requests, so you can leverage initial contributions for maximum impact.

For example, 29% of first-time donors who became recurring donors, did so within the first 90 days of their initial gifts (!)

From speaking opportunities at events to the effectiveness of storytelling through long-form videos and influencer partnerships, you’ll find out how to engage supporters in meaningful ways.

We discuss critical retention techniques such as monitoring churn rates and using automated email sequences to keep donor engagement high.

This episode is packed with actionable advice to help you build lasting donor loyalty and even cultivate major gifts.

4. Make the Ask: How to Consistently and Confidently Ask for Recurring Gifts

Monthly giving is not just about a donation — it is about giving people a way to channel their purpose consistently. If you are showing up shy or with low energy or a lack of confidence around making the ask for monthly donations, I promise your supporters will feel it. You are providing a wonderful opportunity for your monthly donors, so be amped to ask them.

How often should you ask for recurring gifts? You should ask your donors all the time, but then have one to three big tentpole campaign moments that you have planned out throughout the year. If you want sustainable, consistent revenue, all roads lead to recurring giving gifts and based on Classy’s State of Modern Philanthropy report, 29% of first-time donors who became recurring donors did so within the first 90 days of their initial gift.

Do not be afraid to make that ask for a recurring monthly donation after that one-time gift. Those supporters are so loyal they are over nine times more valuable to your organization.

5. Share Joy & Gratitude: The Best Long-Term Strategy for Retaining Monthly Donors

Retention is the cornerstone of a sustainable monthly giving program. What you are trying to do is evoke the same feeling that donor originally had when they said yes to give every single time that gift is processed on their bank statement. Start this process by checking some data.

3 Monthly Donor Data Points to Analyze

  • What is the current churn rate each month of your recurring supporters?
  • Why are your monthly donors leaving?
  • Is there a trend in the reasons why they’re leaving?

If you have a low churn rate, keep focusing on growth, like acquisition time. Bring in new people. If you have a high churn rate, pause on any acquisition or growth right now because it looks like there might be something wrong that’s making people leave and you should fix that first. If you’re in a good spot, you should have at least a monthly email correspondence that is going out to this group of monthly supporters, like sharing updates on impact stories.

Resources & Links

Don’t forget to register for the Monthly Giving Summit coming up on Sept 5-6 from 1-4 pm ET – the ONLY virtual event designed to help nonprofits build, grow, and sustain subscriptions for good. RSVP for FREE here!

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