CEO Insights: How to Start a Recurring Donor Program

March 2, 2020
2 min
A grid of shapes, a portrait photo of Justin Wheeler, and the words "CEO Chat".
Justin is Funraise's CEO, a co-founder, and a bad-ass, experienced nonprofit fundraiser. Like a true fundraiser-turned-founder, he breaks down the concepts behind Funraise's mission everywhere he can make nonprofits' voices heard.

Hey nonprofit friends, do you want a predictable and scalable revenue channel?

Most people don't realize how easy starting a Monthly Donor Program can be. Here are three easy steps to kickstart it for you:

  1. Give the program a name that connects to your work. For example, when I was at Liberty in North Korea we called our monthly donor program "Liberty."
  2. Quantify the impact and use that to create different tiers that represent your work. For example, charity: water says $60/month provides 18 people with clean water for one year.
  3. Start with anyone that has given to you before and ask them to join this new giving program. Call, text, and email to turn your support base into monthly stakeholders.

Use technology to automatically manage the giving for your donors and to prevent unnecessary lapse through tools like Card Updater and Expiring Card drip campaigns.

My company Funraise can help you with this! I promise if you use this framework you can get this off the ground in no time!

Can't listen to the video? Scroll down to read the transcript.

Video Transcript

OK, so for people listening, they're thinking, OK, this is charity: water. You know, they're bad year was $34 million dollars only helping 800,000 people. For individuals who are like, OK. Like, you know, we've we're just a few million dollars annually or, you know, we're below a million annually but we know we want to get started. We know what we want to activate our support base. What tips to share them? What advice would you give these individuals who are, you know, thinking about starting some sort of monthly giving program for their donor base? I think you start with the people who have given before. Anybody who has given once to your organization, almost definitely has the capacity to give more. A lot of people that we find join The Spring, have contributed to someone's fundraising campaign. So maybe they were supporting the person more than the cause, but they just didn't know a lot about the cause. And we follow up with more information and invite them to join The Spring. It's it blows my mind how many people are willing to give, monthly. And it's just a matter of invitation. But I think you start with this group of people who have already done something and then start to learn from them, ask them questions about what they want or what would be valuable. What's funny is we've been doing this exclusive video content. So it's sort of seasonal story, video stories, from different countries and partners so we can show them the impact of the work they're funding and the people they empower around the world. And we've gone back to our Spring audience several times for feedback. And it is like you get people who are like, these videos are boring. You get people who are like, I want the videos to be longer this amazing. So to your earlier point, I think the more you can learn from your existing audience and then start to segment and speak to them differently, just continue to provide value. I think that's a sweet spot.
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