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Case Study: How a Small Charity Keeps Growing Its Monthly Donor Base

As you may know, I love hearing from nonprofits. That’s how I learn. And that’s how I believe we all learn together.

And I’m always amazed, especially at how small nonprofits keep growing and doing more — even with few resources. I think the biggest asset they have is the conviction, the belief that they can do it.

That’s so true when it comes to monthly giving. If you’re going into it with a “Let me try this and see what happens” attitude, then you may give up too soon. You may not try hard enough.

I recently interviewed Karen Cassidy. She’s the executive director and founder of Hildegard House, a comfort care home based in Louisville, Kentucky. Its mission is to provide a home and compassionate care for individuals who are at the end of life and with no home or loved ones to care for them so that they may die with dignity.

Cassidy became interested in monthly giving when one of her first donors decided to make a monthly gift on her own account. It was $100 a month, $1,200 a year — not too shabby.

So Cassidy became curious. She looked at what other organizations were doing. She started reading some blogs (including those by yours truly).

She delegated the process of coming up with a name for the monthly givers to her development committee, which settled on Compassionate Care Circle — certainly very fitting with the nonprofit’s mission.

Next, Cassidy created special messaging in her organization’s quarterly printed newsletter and added a tick box on the newsletter’s remit envelope. She also joined a number of other organizations as a monthly donor to see how they made her feel and how they communicated with her.

She tries to keep the communications with her monthly donors as personal as possible. She sends a special card to new monthly donors right away. She then sends them the quarterly newsletter as well as a card for the holidays. Monthly donors are included in invitations to events as well.

Karen’s organization is growing. It’s in the process of buying another house. It has about 3,200 email addresses and 825 donors. Many of her donors start out as memorial givers and monthly giving has proven to be a fantastic way to convert them to give on an ongoing basis.

When I spoke to her, Cassidy was proud to announce that the nonprofit had 42 monthly donors, with the smallest monthly gift at $5 a month and largest at $200 a month. The annualized revenue is now just shy of $24,000, which really helps pay for much of the fundraising expansion as well as operating support.

Just a few days ago, she emailed me a quick update: “We just got our first corporate monthly donor for $100 a month. I gave one of the business owners in our neighborhood a tour.”

Cassidy looks at her monthly donors as those crucial “cheerleaders for our mission.”  And who wouldn’t want more of those?

I’m grateful to Cassidy for sharing her story. While it’s still a small percentage (5%) of her overall number of donors, she is committed to growing it to the next level.  With her drive, I’m sure she will do just that.

Published by NonProfitPRO Today on April 14, 2022.

The post Case Study: How a Small Charity Keeps Growing Its Monthly Donor Base appeared first on A Direct Solution.

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