4 No-Brainer Strategies to Jumpstart Your Recurring Giving Program

April 23, 2019
7 minutes

Your nonprofit is finally hopping on the recurring giving train (toot, toot!). You’ve set up the backend tools and systems you’ll need to run the program. You’ve set goals and now you need some donors to actually sign up! But, how can you grow your recurring giving program?

It can seem like a mystery, but you won't need to call Sherlock Holmes for help with this one. We promise. These four proven strategies will help jumpstart and grow your nonprofit's recurring giving program in no time.

Start with the benefits to the donors

The leap from a one-time gift to a recurring donor isn’t small. You need to give donors a really good reason to become a recurring donor. To do this, you should pitch them an irresistible offer that highlights the benefits of recurring giving. The most common reasons people become recurring donors include convenience, fewer communications and asks with more tangible updates, special status/treatment, and lastly, knowing that their donations make a compounded impact.

Beyond that, it’s helpful to break down and show donors what monthly giving can do and the tangible impact a regular contribution can have. Whether it's 10 more backpacks a month for school children, hot meals for a week, or shelter for five trafficking victims, quantifying their regular donations to actual outcomes is a good start. 

Brand if you can

Having a branded recurring giving program has its benefits. It can showcase the value and impact of recurring giving and make donors feel like they're part of the “club.” A good place to start is giving your program a special name and logo.

Need some inspiration? Take a look at how charity: water branded their recurring giving initiative, The Spring.

A half-circle made of concentric blue dots on a white background

Identify your best prospects

Who are your best recurring giving prospects? When diving into your donor data, recency and frequency are your absolute best friends. This means looking at the recency of the last gift and the frequency of giving, which will be two of the best indicators of a donors likelihood to donate monthly.

Here are a few segments you may want to pull reports on:

  • Donors that have made a gift in the last 30 days
  • Donors who have made at least two gifts in the last 6 months
  • Donors who have made a single gift between $5 and $99

We also recommend:

  • Making recurring giving a visible option on your website and donation form
  • Sharing social proof on your website and social media
  • Including information about the program in various online communications to expose your network to your new giving option

Make an Ask

You’ve got a list of prospects in hand and you’re armed with all the benefits of your new recurring giving program. It’s time to make an ask! Email and other online giving tools make it easy to ask and easy for donors to set up their gift. Start by creating a segment of your prospects on your email list and send them an ask. Direct them to your online giving form that’s set up for a monthly gift. Bonus points if you have a high converting online giving form.

In addition to making a targeted ask, as the program begins to grow, you may want to also consider circling back to your existing recurring donors to see if they are willing to upgrade their gift. This is an easy ask that typically has a good conversion rate.

With these four strategies, you can start to grow your recurring giving program and fund more of your nonprofit’s awesome work right now! Start growing your recurring donor program today to build a sustainable future for your nonprofit.

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