Which Giving Frequencies Should Your Nonprofit Provide?

I love it when CRMs and payment providers churn through their data to show trends, especially when it comes to recurring giving. There simply isn’t enough yet (in my view). That’s why I was excited to read the most recent “The State of Modern Philanthropy 2022” from Classy.

One of the key messages from the report is to give donors choices. Let donors choose which payment method to use: credit card, EFT/ACH, PayPal, etc. The easier you make it for the donor to give, the more likely they’ll do that.

One of the other messages the report explained is to ask recurring donors to consider frequencies other than monthly. While choices are great, the reality is that recurring donors who give monthly will ultimately give you more money. Just take a look at this chart.

Credit: The State of Modern Philanthropy 2022 by Classy

I suggest moving into the multiple frequencies carefully and seeing how that impacts your program. Ultimately of course, if a donor gives more than once, that’s always a good thing.

The average number of recurring donors per organization in the Classy platform is still quite small at 252, giving $31 a month, or $372 a year. The average annual donor gives $100 a year. You’ll certainly still raise more money with other frequencies, but not quite as much.

It’s also especially important to track the retention rate by frequency. The churn for other frequencies is much higher, according to this report.

Credit: The State of Modern Philanthropy 2022 by Classy

And with some credit card companies and banks starting to be stricter in requirements for subscriptions and recurring gifts (more to come on this soon), other frequencies will see different rules, making churn even more likely.

You know I’m all for keeping things as simple and as doable as possible. Fundraisers tend to overthink things and make things more complicated than they are. There is really no need for that.

If you’re just starting out with monthly giving, or you’re still a beginner in terms of growing your recurring gifts, I recommend staying focused on the monthly option at first. Make sure that all your thank-you messages include the appropriate frequency. Then focus on your stewardship and retention messaging. Test it, automate as much as possible, get it working and keep it working. Prevent as much churn as possible.

Then — and only after you have those processes in place— it is time to open options for other frequencies. Of course, if a donor calls you and asks if they can do a different frequency, you should be able to process that for them without it being visible to all donors. I’m not going to ever ask you to turn a recurring donation away.  

This post was first published on Nonprofit Pro on June 9, 2022.

The post Which Giving Frequencies Should Your Nonprofit Provide? appeared first on A Direct Solution.

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