How to Run a Recurring Donation Campaign

05/29/2018 4 min read Written by Jenny Traster

If your nonprofit is looking for a way to increase donations, retain more donors, and develop lifelong relationships, then a recurring donation campaign is the way to go. Monthly donors contribute 42 percent more in a year than one-time donors. More than 60 percent of recurring donors stick around, compared to the 19 percent of first-time donors. The recurring nature of the donations also keeps your monthly contributors engaged, resulting in a greater connection to your organization.

recurring donations

A nonprofit marketing recurring donation campaign can also reduce administrative costs, and it’s not all that difficult to launch. These tips will show you how.

Choose a Good Name for Your Campaign

As with any campaign that’s part of your nonprofit marketing plan, you want a name that’s creative, catchy and gives an indication of the campaign’s purpose. When it comes to recurring campaigns, you also need to somehow relay that the campaign has a long-term focus.

An obvious solution would be to add “Recurring” or “Monthly Giving” to the campaign’s name. Phrases like “Year-Long” and “Ongoing” can also work.

Set Target Goals

Goals give you a target to shoot for, and they also serve as encouragement for your supporters. Once you’ve outlined your donor profiles, break down your overall goal into specific goals for each group.

Your next step is to develop targeted content for each group and determine how you’ll deliver that content. A nonprofit inbound marketing best practice is to limit each recurring campaign’s timeframe to no more than 10 days to avoid donor fatigue.

See Also: What Data Should You Monitor for Your Nonprofit Website?

Show Long-Term Impact

Associating donations with something tangible can make them more meaningful to the donor. Since people donate because they want to make a difference, let them know how their funds are being used and the difference they are indeed making.

You can focus on the long-term impact of donations by outlining what their monthly contributions achieve over the long haul. Rather than simply acknowledging their donation of $10 per month, for instance, mention what their $120 per year is doing to contribute to your cause.

Showing the long-term impact not only helps prompt donors to continue with their monthly donations, but it makes them feel connected to your organization and a larger cause that is directly benefiting from their help.

Promote Often

While you don’t want to send out recurring donation requests to your existing monthly donors, you can certainly continue to target prospects in your donor persona groups. You can also keep existing donors updated on the good their donations are doing.

Show them the impact of their donations by regularly sending out statistics, stories, images and video clips of people benefitting from their generosity.

Make it Easy

The easier you make it for people to donate on a monthly basis, the more likely they are to continue to do so. Online donation features make it easy to set up and accept recurring donations. For those who donate offline, you can set up automatic deductions so they no longer have to mail a check or call in their donations every month.

Streamlining your monthly donation process to automatically process donations is much more effective than relying on donors to remember to send in their monthly gift on their own.

See Also: Ways to Increase Your Nonprofit Website’s Conversion Rate

Create Donation Tiers

Donation tiers can be hugely successful in nonprofit inbound marketing campaigns. Not only do they help donors understand the impact of their monthly donation, but they always leave the door open for donors to move to a higher tier as desired.

Again, you want to focus on the long-term impact of the monthly donations with tiers that showcase the impact over time. Your tiers can look something like this:

  • $10 month = Dog food for 30 days
  • $40 month = Food, vaccinations for one year
  • $130 month = Food, vaccinations for one year, emergency vet services for six months

Send Thank You Gifts

Just because someone automatically gives to your cause every month doesn’t mean you can ignore them. They appreciate acknowledgement and thanks just like everybody else. Going out of your way to show appreciation can also help ensure they’ll continue their donations every year.

Setting up special events for monthly donors is a keen way to say thank you, as is sending out special gifts on a regular basis. A personal phone call from your nonprofit’s president is another way to show your thanks while making donors feel like an integral part of your organization.

Monthly donors are one of the greatest assets your nonprofit can have, and these nonprofit inbound marketing tips can help ensure your organization successfully gains and then retains them for years to come.

By: Jenny Traster

With a love of HubSpot dating back to 2010, Jenny works with clients to put the pieces of the inbound marketing puzzle together, from content marketing and social media management to demand generation and lead nurturing. When she’s not digging through data or reading the latest in social media trends, you’re most likely to find her traveling, practicing yoga or hiking with her dogs in the great outdoors.

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