How Nonprofits Can Use a Monthly Donor Program to Minimize Loss Amidst COVID-19 Uncertainty

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You’ve inevitably noticed the seemingly endless webinars and training offered by organizations like Nonprofit Connect OneCause, CharityHowTo, helping nonprofits understand and navigate the impacts of COVID-19. In a world filled with uncertainty, it’s been inspiring not to mention relieving to have a plethora of resources at our fingertips. The one thing they have in common is emphasizing the importance of a Monthly Donor Program.

With most fundraising events being cancelled or at least postponed, building a long-term base of donors will be critical for nonprofits to survive and thrive. Consider this fact - while nonprofits can expect a retention rate of 45% for general donors, the rate for monthly donors is generally close to 90%. If you need another reason to pull the trigger, monthly donors also stay for an average of 5-7 years! It’s a no-brainer.

*Source: Erica Waasorp, A Direct Solution – April 6, 2020 Nonprofit Webinar: How to Find New Monthly Donors for your Nonprofit in the Time of Coronavirus. Found in CharityHowTo Library.

 Here’s How to Step Up your Monthly Donor Program:  

     1. Create a Monthly Donor page.

 Check out other examples

     2. Be direct with your messaging.

Use headlines like “Make a Difference Everyday with a Monthly Gift” or “Stretch Your Giving” and talk about why it’s great. An alternative could be to have a ticker banner with a monthly donor message and link.

     3. Use a Become a Monthly Donor button links in emails.

Within any communication you send to donors via Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc., include a separate button to drive monthly donations.

     4. Feature your monthly donors.

Highlight monthly donors with quotes, donation amounts, etc. via social, email and on the Monthly Donor page (where social and email would link to).

     5. Note a $5 minimum when a donor selects amount.

This way, people see immediately that a little bit helps and are more likely to give.


When done right, the impact of a Monthly Donor Program will be far-reaching and will last long after this crisis is over.