5 ways to get the most out of your sustained giving program

Credit card processing has become a regular activity for most nonprofit organizations, which means that sustained giving programs are being utilized regularly in the sector. Quick, convenient and affordable to process, your organization likely has a recurring giving program in place.

But now that it has become part of everyday nonprofit life, how can you make sure you’re leveraging your sustained giving program and using it to its full potential? Here are some suggestions:

  • Engage your recurring donors: Your sustained giving donors are valuable to your organization – they assure that you have a predictable source of revenue, they lower your solicitation costs and they commit a portion of their allowance to your cause. Their donation may be “guaranteed,” but a regular thank-you note or phone call will be much appreciated.
  • Make them feel special: It’s important for your recurring monthly donors to feel like their regular contribution is valued. International fundraising consultant Gail Perry recommends highlighting monthly donors by giving them a special name, like Boston Children’s Hospital’s “Dream Makers,” or the Doctors Without Borders “Field Partners.” You can even create a special giving club for recurring donors that provides them with special perks or benefits.
  • Ask for more: Your organization’s recurring donors have made a commitment to your organization by giving regularly. However, the donation comes out of their bank accounts automatically without them even having to think about it. Your donors may be in a financial position to increase their monthly gift, but you won’t know unless you ask! Encourage your recurring donors to up their contribution.
  • Provide unique giving opportunities: Your recurring gift donors are regularly contributing to your organization, but that doesn’t mean that they may not want to provide additional support. If you have a fundraising campaign coming up, ask your recurring donors if they would be willing to help fund a specific project. Many organizations give recurring donors the opportunity to sponsor a specific child, while also making regular donations to your organization as a whole.
  • Show impact: Keep up a consistent dialogue, especially with repeat donors, to help them see the impact of their recurring gift. Send photos or video testimony of the mission that their donation is going toward. If the project they are contributing to is ongoing, keep them posted on the progress. By giving them visuals of the impact they are making, they will be more likely to continue donating to your cause. Looking for a unique way to show the impact your donors are making? Video conference them in from the worksite or the field!

How do you make sure that your sustained giving program is continuing to gain momentum? How do you recognize recurring donors? Let us know by commenting below!