Every non-profit organization faces the same dilemma: resources are always scarce. That’s why savvy non-profit leaders seek ways to optimize fundraising without a significant investment of human resources.
Sounds impossible, right? It turns out, however, that there is a way to grow your donations with minimal effort: recurring gifts.
What is recurring giving?
Recurring giving is a vehicle for donors to use that automates gift giving. Your organization simply receives a set gift every month typically by credit card or account withdrawal.
Recurring giving makes it easy for your staff to develop a base of contributions on which you can rely and offers a simple annual process for donors to follow through with donations.
Benefits of recurring gifts
This is one scenario with no downside—it’s all about benefits.
- The most significant benefit? Recurring giving sends donations into overdrive. Research shows that individual gifts are significantly larger when set up as recurring donations. Donors often find it easier to make larger gifts when their gifts are spread out over time.
- Recurring giving helps you ferret out many of your most loyal supporters, facilitating the identification of those who likely would increase their giving next year—or support your organization in other ways.
- Recurring giving helps you reduce the administrative burdens related to fundraising, starting with the number of ask and thank-you letters mailed out.
- A base of recurring gifts enhances program planning and implementation, and contributes to a growth of services your agency can offer the community.
- Efficient donor software does all the heavy lifting to retrieve these monthly gifts. Staff need only make sure that each gift is acknowledged—unless the donor stipulates otherwise. Make sure that your system enables customized donation pages, including one for recurring giving. Note: for donors who prefer one annual written acknowledgement, make sure that you find a way to recognize each gift in a way the donor is comfortable with.
- Why not get started with a widespread campaign to attract new donors and direct them towards recurring giving from the start? Those donors are likely to remain as recurring contributors for some time.
- Make converts of your annual fund donors. Request that each of them consider converting to becoming a recurring donor as a way to help strengthen your organization’s service to the community.
- Change your organization’s culture to one in which recurring giving is the expectation and the norm.
- Invest in donor software that becomes the backbone of support for your recurring giving program. Dedicated fundraising software such as Process Donation’s facilitates your new approach to giving, often without the need to increase staff.
Each organization manages recurring giving differently. The key element is a willingness to pilot a recurring giving program to see how it improves the financial health of your organization.