Do we really understand monthly giving?

Delighted to offer a guest posts this week from Josh Collier, Development Officer at Tacoma’s Youth for Christ.  He is a friend, colleague, and terrific fundraiser.  Enjoy:

Most of us offer monthly giving as an option at fundraisers and in appeal letters – but do we really understand the potential of effective monthly giving?

It’s easy to underestimate that monthly giver. Really, fifty bucks doesn’t seem like that much when you have over a million dollars to raise in a fiscal year!

But think about this: You run into a friend at a local store. While catching up, she tells you about her recent trip to South America. She was struck by the need of the small orphanage she visited, and so decided to sponsor a child she met there. Your friend says, “I don’t have a thousand dollars, but I do have fifty dollars a month, and I might not be able to fix all the problems in the world, but I know as long as I’m sponsoring my child she’ll have a roof over her head, food, and an education.”

The reason child sponsorship works is because it’s a movement of people who understand the importance of their – seemingly small – monthly contribution to a need they care about. The technical term is value proposition.

These are the two factors that make monthly giving work:

  1. Creating a monthly giving program that is more than an option on a response card (more on this in my next post!)
  2. A value proposition that equates an attainable monthly giving amount to accomplishing something specific and compelling

And here’s the cherry on top: Monthly givers have much lower attrition than intermittent, annual, and event givers. So while that single gift of $1,000 is great this December, will you see it again next year? That $50 a month (A.K.A. $600 a year) will usually stay engaged for years if properly thanked and valued.

So let me ask you this: what’s your monthly giving like? Is it an option on a response device, or are you calling an often under-solicited segment of potential advocates to join something bigger than themselves?

Join the conversation at @infosmallchange #ascblog.

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