person's hands cupped around a seedling on top of coins

9 Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits to Grow Monthly Donors

9 icons illustrating giving and community: a ribbon, a heart in someone's hand, three people standing together, a person's hand holding a coin

Growing the number of your nonprofit donors who give to your organization is an important strategy to assure your long-term financial health. Donors who choose to make monthly gifts are on average more likely to support your organization for a longer period of time. They're also more likely to donate more money to your organization during their "giving lifetime" than donors who just make single gifts.

Studies released annually by Blackbaud, which tracks giving trends over thousands of nonprofits, are showing that monthly giving is the fastest growing segment of giving today. For many donors, it's easier to make a gift if they can spread it out across 12 months of the year.

If you don't currently have a monthly giving program, it's time to get started. Or maybe your current program needs some retooling. Follow this checklist of nine fundraising ideas for nonprofits to build monthly giving programs.

1. Give It an Exciting Name

Give your monthly giving program an exciting name so it'll stand out as an important part of your organization. Names I've liked recently include Hunger Core, Partners for Change, Investigations Fund, and Rescue Partners.

2. Offer Monthly Giving on Your Donation Pages

Make sure that the main donation page on your website includes a monthly giving option. Most online donation vendors include this as an option, so be sure to make it visible to your donors.

3. Consider Having the Monthly Giving Option Pre-selected

If you want to be a bit more aggressive on your donation pages, you could have the monthly giving option preselected or shown first before the single, one-time gift. This is sure to grab the attention of your donors as they consider their giving choices.

4. Include Monthly Giving Language in All Email Fundraising Appeals

Build awareness by adding monthly giving language to all your email fundraising appeals. Put it in the body of the message, in the postscript, or both to show your donors that it's always an option for giving.

5. Ask New Email Subscribers to Give Monthly

Add a monthly giving request to your new email subscriber welcome series. New subscribers are often very motivated to learn what your organization does, and they may be interested in making a small monthly donation.

6. Invite Recent Donors to Support You Monthly

A few times a year, email your recent donors and invite them to become monthly donors. Your recent donors are some of your most passionate supporters, and they're often the most receptive to becoming monthly donors.

7. Create a Campaign for Monthly Gifts

Create a month-long campaign to recruit and upgrade monthly donors. Pick a month when you're running an exciting campaign and invite your community to become monthly donors to help support your work. You could consider using a recruitment goal ("We need 50 new monthly donors this month!") to encourage signups.

You can promote your month-long campaign on your website home page, launch a series of three emails in your chosen month, and mention it in your social media channels. Your email campaigns could be targeted at recent donors, nondonors in your file, lapsed donors, and lapsed monthly donors. During this campaign, current monthly donors would be encouraged to upgrade their monthly gift, but only if they've been in the program for at least four months.

8. Make Monthly Donors Feel Special

Send a special biannual email update just for your monthly donors, so they know they're part of a special group of donors whom you appreciate.

9. Promote Your Monthly Giving Program Widely

Use other communications channels and activities that might be good places to promote your monthly giving program. Events, newsletters, and print mailings are important venues to get out the word.

Reach More Donors

Additional Fundraising Resources