Three or more years ago, I changed my practice of making one annual gift to my public broadcasting affiliate. With the one gift, I was never sure which year I was in with my giving. Sometimes I made the annual gift in response to a particular pledge drive or Christmas special; other times I responded to a renewal mailing. My perception was that the renewals started about six months before the renewal date, so I didn’t always respond to the first renewal notice.

At this juncture five years ago, it became clear to me that:

  • I want to be a strong supporter of this organization.
  • I am a daily consumer of their services – and most thankful for its existence.
  • Signing on as a sustaining member by making a regular monthly gift certainly made more sense than the annual confusion I currently had.
  • And: the amount I could give as a monthly withdrawal from my account was easily double or triple what the annual gift I had been making.

Further, having done the hard work of fundraising myself through the years, it would give me great pleasure to be a donor whose ongoing giving was predictable, reliable, and took minimal time to administer. I wanted to do my part to focus the organization’s prodigious efforts on programming and serving the community; I didn’t want to contribute to their administrative effort when we both knew that the gift was forthcoming.

At the time I initiated monthly giving, I pledged an amount double what my previous annual gift had been. Today, with much appreciation for the gift of monthly giving, I will again double the amount. Now I am wondering why I don’t convert my other charitable gifts to this Win-Win method.

Although the growth of monthly giver programs doesn’t occur rapidly, it’s always a good time to make a new pitch. Donors come to understand/choose monthly giving at their own individual rates. Putting some spark into your “monthly” pitch is a good idea anytime!

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