Donors are heroes. Even during an unprecidented shake-up of our world, donors continue to support the charities they care about which treat them well. Their commitment is inspiring and their loyalty to the charities which reflect their deeply held values is astonishing.
Is there a donor-centered way to take advantage of this loyalty? The answer is “YES!”. Give these precious people an opportunity to support your work monthly. Create a creative, strategic, inspiring and unique monthly giving program.
Over the years, there have been eloquent champions of monthly giving. I want to mention two of them.
The first is my friend and colleague Harvey McKinnon. Harvey has written extensively - and brilliantly - about monthly giving for decades. His first book, “Hidden Gold”, and his most recent, “How to Create Lifelong Donors Through Monthly Giving” are simply must-reads if you want to be serious about monthly giving.
The second is the Agent’s friend and colleague Erica Waasdorp - “Erica from America.” She published Monthly Giving. The Sleeping Giant in 2012 and she has just written another wonderful book and e-book called “Monthly Giving Made Easy.” In her acknowledgments, Erica gives a shout-out to Harvey.
Erica’s book is a comprehensive, easy-to-read guide to creating and maintaining a vibrant monthly giving program. She provides a boatload of free resources which brilliantly illustrate the points she makes in her little book. 124 pages full of gems for your new or developing or mature monthly giving program.
After a passionate introduction, Erica looks at all aspects of a monthly giving program. She has short, action and example packed chapters on the why of monthly giving, the basics, acquisition, recognition and cultivation, retention, upgrades and celebrations.
There are three ideas which stood out for me. The first is her suggestion that if you run a monthly giving program, you should join one or two of the very best in your field. As Newton famously said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” We can learn a lot by looking at what the pros do!
Second, Erica suggests that you find a way to ask your monthly donors why they support you in this way. This is another gem. Your donors will tell you things that will make your program better. They will also appreciate being asked.
This leads to the third idea. Find a way to surprise and delight these marvelous people. Be creative. Be bold. Be unique. It will make you stand out from the rest.
Erica’s ideas will make your monthly giving program soar. Even more important, her refreshing ideas will ensure your program is treating these special people properly. And they deserve no less.
David Love is a Canadian fundraiser who has been raising money forever. His recent book is called “Green Green: Reflections on 51 Years of Raising Money for Nature.”
Monthly Giving Made Easy is available as a book or e-book.