Upgrading Monthly Donors

Now that you have a group of people whose donations come in regularly month after month, don’t stop there! Even if the donor was motivated to give monthly in order to reduce the need to respond to other appeals from your organization, the donor does not have an expectation that he will never hear from you again. (Most organizations limit mail and/or phone asks to this pool.) He’s shown a commitment to your mission, so it’s logical that, over time, he might be willing to increase that commitment.

Create a regular upgrade cycle so that you don’t forget to invite these loyal donors to help just a little bit more. A $5 upgrade can make a huge difference at the end of the year. They’ve already committed to the monthly gift as a way of making a larger gift by spreading it over the year. In fact, it’s probably easier to earn an upgrade from a monthly giver than an annual giver.

These donors understand the value of steady, ongoing support for your organization. They appreciate the fact that the lower overhead involved in collecting their gifts ensures that their donations are used more efficiently. These donors see themselves in partnership with you. They will value your continued engagement (within reason), and every contact does not need to end with a request for a gift.

You might contact monthly donors two, three or four additional times during the year, perhaps with a gift (calendar, bookmark), annual donor receipt, planned-giving information. In addition, you’ll include them in any appeal for a special need. At ten months is a very good time to ask for an upgrade. A phone call works especially well for this ask.

The average gift and the lifetime giving of a monthly donor will be higher than average. And it is a perfect lead-in to planned giving at the right time.

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