If your organization’s cash flow is a little rocky right now, you might want to take a look at setting up a monthly giving program for individual donors. These giving programs can help individuals contribute to your organization easily and can help ensure that you have ongoing income each month.
Monthly contribution commitments work well for individual donors because they allow them to give more than they could give in a single annual donation, by budgeting for a small payment each month. It’s also good for the organization because it improves monthly cash flow and increases the average individual donation.
If you’d like to start a monthly giving campaign, start advertising. Put information in your newsletter and send out flyers to those who have donated in the past. Also put together a mailing list of people who have not donated to your organization, but might be willing to do so. This list can consist of people who have attended functions or asked for information about your organization. Set up a specific campaign period, to encourage donors to take action on the request, rather than putting off making their commitment. When the campaign is over, be certain to share the results with all who subscribe to your newsletter, and all who participated in the campaign.
Timing your monthly giving campaign with other activities will improve its success. If you have an annual fundraiser, for example, make monthly contributions an option for those who attend this fundraiser. Or, hand out flyers on monthly contributions at celebratory events. You’ll likely find that you have more people who are willing to make a commitment when the information is handed out face to face than through mailings. However, mailings are great reminders and follow up tools.
Be certain to offer payment options to your contributors. Automatic credit card payments make monthly giving simple for both the organization and the contributor and help ensure that contributors don’t forget to make their payments. (For an easy way to accept credit cards, consider PayPal.com.)
It’s important to keep good records of your monthly contributors. Of course, you’ll need the information for tax records. However, you’ll also want to keep track of the ending dates for those who contribute each month for a year. You’ll want to contact contributors whose contribution period is nearing its end, to thank them and to try and sign them on for another year. Also, if they don’t sign up for another year, you want to be certain to stop any automatic payments on time.
Automatic monthly contribution programs will certainly require more administrative support than other types of contributions. However, in the long run, they can help your organization bring in more individual contributions and can help improve your monthly cash flow, making them well worth any additional bookkeeping work they require.
Especially during periods of a slow economy, charitable organizations must be creative in finding funding in order to keep contributions coming in. Automatic monthly payments help individual contributors give more-more easily. And, they help charitable organizations bring in cash every month, ensuring that the bills get paid during tough times. There’s certainly room in every organization’s donor program for simple monthly payment options that increase your chances of gaining donations from a larger number of individuals.