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How to Set Up Recurring Donations

Recurring donations are possibly the best way for a nonprofit to keep itself on its feet. One-time contributions are usually slow and don’t last all that long. With a recurring donation system, you can ensure that you have a steady stream of revenue.

 The donations themselves can be over any time interval. Whether it’s weekly, monthly, bi-annually, or even annually, recurring donations are good for the organization as well as for the donor.

For donors, recurring options allow them to manage their contributions without worrying about missing payments. If they’ve set up their credit card, they don’t even have to go through the trouble of manually donating each time.

Recurring donations are popular among donors because they reduce the hassle that the donor has to go through and encourages retention. For an organization, this means that revenue grows at a much faster rate than a one-time donation revenue.

By giving your donors the option to set up a long-term donation system for themselves, you are also encouraging the loyalty they feel towards your nonprofit and building better relationships with them in the process.

How do you set one up?

The Service

It’s easy. You’ll have to set up an account for online money transfer. That can be either direct online banking or through a third-party service like PayPal. You can give your donors the option to make their donations recurring right from the get-go on your online donation form. You could even make it the default, or only option.

The Intervals

Most nonprofits take monthly recurring donations – either in monthly giving programs or through some other method – but you can change this to any period. You can also give your donors options to donate at periods that are convenient for them to encourage them to set up a recurring donation account with your organization.

The Personalization

Aside from the option to choose or change what time interval they’d prefer donating by, you should also provide your donors with the options to choose how much they want to donate in each period. You should also make sure to give them the ability to update their personal info, e.g., to update an expired credit card or change the day their recurring donations get sent.


By setting up a system that sends out notifications regarding payments, you can keep yourself up to date with how much money is coming into your organization’s account. Your donors can also receive updates if they want so that they can be aware of when their contributions are made. If there are any errors, such as failed donations, this system can inform you and your donors so that these errors can be rectified. It is best to keep notifications on emails or texts and should be sent immediately.