Encourage Recurring Giving: 3 Simple Digital Strategies

According to monthly giving statistics, recurring donors tend to give 42% more per year than one-time donors. When you take into consideration the significant effort and resources needed to find new contributors compared to retaining them, establishing a successful recurring giving program can be a game-changing addition to your fundraising strategy.

Take advantage of the power of digital fundraising to reach a wider pool of donors. By improving your nonprofit’s online strategy, you’ll be much better equipped to increase supporter engagement and maximize your earnings.

In this quick guide, we’ll dive into three essential strategies for improving your recurring gift program:

  1. Create an optimized donor experience.
  2. Spread the word about recurring giving.
  3. Strategize communications for recurring donors.

Cultivating a group of recurring donors with long-term investment in your cause can lead to a significant boost in your nonprofit’s revenue. With this reliable source of income, you’ll be able to reallocate your time and assets toward furthering other aspects of your mission.

1. Create an optimized donor experience.

One major appeal of a recurring gift program is that it allows donors to regularly support your cause with ease and convenience. With a simple, streamlined experience, potential contributors will be much more likely to opt in.

Use the following tips for prioritizing the donor experience for recurring giving:

  • Allow donors to manage their own plans. Give your donors the ability to change their own account details, such as payment information, donation frequency, and gift amounts. Supporters will feel much more comfortable participating in the program knowing they have the flexibility to make adjustments down the line.
  • Use technology to facilitate the donation process. Feature an obvious setting for recurring giving on your donation page so that your donors can easily opt in and choose their preferences. Let technology take care of the automatic billing based on the designated gift frequency.
  • Offer multiple payment options. According to Donately’s comprehensive guide on donation pages, you should clearly list all of your nonprofit’s accepted payment methods on your online form. A few essential options include debit/credit cards, PayPal, ACH direct deposit, and Stripe.
  • Make your online donation form mobile-friendly. It’s no secret that people are spending more and more time on their phones. Ensure that your donation page is accessible and easily navigable even when donors are on-the-go and tapping on their phone screens. Using a large font and optimizing your images to load quickly are simple ways to make your form mobile-responsive.

Incorporating these features into your donation page will pave a compelling path for donors to join your recurring giving program online. Ensure that they have every opportunity to easily become a regular supporter of your cause.

2. Spread the word about recurring giving.

Once you’ve optimized your program and donation form for recurring giving, it’s time to broadcast this opportunity to your audience. The more potential supporters hear about it, the more likely they’ll be to participate.

As you begin sharing information about your program, be sure to communicate on multiple channels for an effective online marketing strategy. That way, your voice can reach your supporters wherever they frequent most online.

Try to capture your prospective donors’ attention through these various channels:

  • Social media. Chances are, you’re already connecting and interacting with your supporters through your nonprofit’s social media presence. Keep your followers updated by composing posts that promote your recurring gift program. Using anecdotes and featuring your current donors can be great ways to get prospects excited about participating.
  • Email marketing. In 2021, email accounted for 15% of all nonprofit online revenue, so don’t forget to take advantage of your newsletters and email outreach efforts to market recurring giving.
  • Donation page. Incorporate an easy-to-select checkbox by your donation amount field so that donors can opt in with nothing more than a single click. With this convenient option, your supporters can feel assured that their participation in your recurring gift program will be simple and hassle-free.
  • Text messages. A text marketing campaign can be an effective way to get in front of your potential donors. Since people spend so much time on their phones, you’ll have a much greater chance of catching their attention through a short and simple text. Of course, if you don’t already have a list of supporters who’ve given their consent to be contacted via SMS, you’ll have to encourage people to opt into that communication first.
  • Blog posts. An informative blog post about your recurring gift program can do more than just alert your audience to its existence. In fact, you can optimize your nonprofit’s SEO by creating relevant and regular content for your website.

As you begin your outreach, take note of which platforms yield the most positive results, leading to more donors signing up for your recurring gift program. This information can help you decide which channels to invest more time into and which could be improved for better outcomes.

Your online communications with supporters are essential for keeping them updated on ways to get involved in your cause and stay invested in your nonprofit’s story.

3. Strategize communications for recurring donors.

Promotion is certainly crucial for a successful outreach strategy. However, be sure to cultivate the relationships you’ve established with donors who’ve opted into your recurring gift program as well. You want your contributors to develop a long-term devotion to your mission.

To do this, send out personalized communications by segmenting your donors. Take a look at their shared characteristics and sort them accordingly, so that you can craft messages that pertain to each group.

Here are some different ways you can segment your recurring supporters:

  • Giving amount. If you group your donors by giving size, you’ll be able to make more appropriate gift suggestions or asks in the future. For instance, for recurring donors who tend to give $10 a month, you could encourage them to consider contributing $15 a month.
  • Giving history. This strategy ensures that your reliable, long-term donors can receive the acknowledgement and appreciation they deserve. To those who have been consistently contributing over a lengthy period of time, you can send out personalized communications thanking them for their impact.
  • Communication preferences. Based on their preferences, you should connect with your supporters where they want to hear from you most. This will increase the likelihood that they’ll respond to and interact with your organization.
  • Reason for giving. This information is less quantifiable, but can be determined through supporter surveys and their online engagement with you. By understanding why your donors give, you can tailor your communications to appeal to their priorities and values.

By making use of collected data to inform your nonprofit-donor interactions, you can build more meaningful and productive relationships with them. Expending resources to reach prospective contributors is important, but retaining your supporters is just as necessary for your nonprofit’s success.

Recurring donations can prove to be incredibly valuable and consistent sources of revenue. To create a successful recurring gift program, prioritize your donors. If you make it easy for them to support your cause for the long haul, they’ll be much more eager to participate. Reach out with thoughtful, data-driven communications to keep them both informed and committed.

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