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How to Start a Monthly Giving Program

These days, people are used to signing up for regular services. Whether it is a streaming service like Netflix or a publication like the Harvard Business Review, signing up for a subscription package is no longer a mystifying concept anymore. This strategy has benefitted companies as they are able to secure a longer-lasting revenue stream. Why shouldn’t this strategy extend to your nonprofit?

The best way for you to create a consistent monthly income is by setting up a monthly giving program.

Even someone who likes the work you do would raise an eyebrow when you ask for a 3-digit sum as a contribution – that’s quite fair. Not everyone can put away $100 on the spot. But they could be able to put aside $10 every month; if you do the math, this adds up to $120 per year.

Most donors are more comfortable with the idea of monthly giving programs, so they’re more likely to stick around. You can sleep at night, knowing next month’s contributions will be sorted through the donor’s monthly contributions.

The multiplier effect created makes the small but fast-coming donations add up to a substantial amount that can support your organization.

So, how do you set up a monthly program?

First off, you need a name for the program. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, as its purpose is to be recognizable to donors and communicate the proposition clearly.

Second, you need to establish contribution tiers with designated amounts that can be donated. For example, you can create tiers through which donors can donate $5, $10, or $20 every month. The amounts you set for your program’s tiers could be anything, but it should have some options for smaller contributions so that it can be affordable.

Donors like to know how their contributions are making a difference. While promoting your program, incorporate an approximate amount in the promotional material, which gives donors an idea of the impact their donation can make. For example, Andy Perkins from BESTWA asks for $28 per month to feed and school a child in Liberia.

Of course, you need a system to be able to track and record all monthly donations. You’d need to know who your donors are, how much they’ve committed to, and whether or not they’ve sent in their donations for the month. You could use complex software, but a detailed MS Excel spreadsheet works equally well.

You also need to set up a way for donors to sign-up. It could be a form that can be printed out and sent to you, or better yet, a form that donors can fill online so they don’t have to go through the added hassle of sending it to you. However, keep a paper form that you can distribute or hand out at events.

Finally, you need a plan to thank your donors. By sending a ‘thank you’ note or email every month, let donors know that their contribution is much appreciated.

To launch the program, find your first members. Remember, any action you take will start with yourself. Find family or friends, go through your donor list to find repeated donations, and reach out to them.

A monthly program is not that hard to set up or grow, and you’ll be able to see the benefits within no time.

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