Lessons From Motivate Monday | Retaining and growing your monthly donors during COVID-19

April 15, 2020


Understandably, nonprofits all over the world are experiencing drops in fundraising due to COVID-19. So we thought it was prime time for Erica Waasdorp, author of Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant, to drop in for an extra-special Motivate Monday session. This former US Ambassador for the International Fundraising Conference works with nonprofit clients nationally and internationally. Direct response and fundraising are Erica’s raison d’être.

Just last week, Erica discussed the benefits of monthly giving, particularly in times of crisis. Like right now. Fact: at this moment in time, monthly donors are the nonprofit’s life preserver.

Think about it. Monthly donors can mean major annual value. Obviously, more monthly donors equal more annual value. Suppose each of your donors contributes $24, which is the average monthly gift. You’d be looking at a yearly gift of $288, multiplied by however many monthly donors you have.

As hard as pandemic brain is making your life, don’t sleep on your communications. Don’t slack on the mail. Erica discusses different ways that you can make your communications impactful during these trying times:

  1. Putting an ask in your emergency email
  2. Adding an extra button to your donate page
  3. Adding a message about your monthly giving program in any email you send out by putting it right in your signature 

Getting new monthly donors at a time like this would be downright delightful, yes? But you also want to focus on keeping the ones you’ve already got. Erica delves into that, too. How can you retain right now?

  1. Send out an email telling them you need them
  2. Send a video message
  3. Send something uplifting
  4. Organize a thank-a-thon
  5. Write thank-you notes

Erica also addresses the unfortunate reality of when your monthly donor wants to stop and what to do about it, how to try to win back those you’ve lost, and how you can include your monthlies in extra giving opportunities.

We know times are tough. But we hope you can relax a little and understand that, with your best efforts — your focused efforts — you’ve got this. And you can do more than tread water. You’ve got the power to keep on making a difference, despite everything going on right now.

So take a deep breath, pour your drink of choice, and have a listen to Erica’s session. You’ll want to hear everything she has to say, especially now.

You can download the slides from her presentation right here.

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