“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
– Abraham Lincoln
When it comes to nonprofits, predicting the future can be difficult. Without guaranteed recurring revenue, nonprofits often lack the stability necessary to budget and plan effectively. The good news is that sustainer fundraising is growing at a faster rate than online fundraising and being able to accept recurring donations is a huge opportunity for nonprofits to gain greater financial stability, significantly strengthen relationships with avid supporters, and ultimately create the future for their organization. Whether you are looking to build a monthly recurring donations program from scratch or are in need of ramping up an existing one, it is important to ensure you show relentless appreciation for this key segment of donors. Here are three ways you can treat your recurring donors like royalty.
Make donors an integral part of your marketing efforts
Featuring a monthly donor on your website or nonprofit blog takes engagement to a level beyond a traditional thank you email. Layout a calendar and interview your donors using a simple template consisting of meaningful questions that help you get to know your donor and their unique reasons for giving. Feature the donor’s answers along with their picture in the channels you have the greatest reach with your audience. If your website has a rotating banner on the homepage, this is great content to keep your website fresh. You can also turn this content into a blog post and drive traffic to your nonprofit websites or include it in your monthly newsletter. Don’t forget to ask your donor for their social media handles during the interview. When you post this content on social media, tagging the donor will notify them and also make it visible to their network (need more fundraising social media tips?).
Involve donors in the campaign creation process
Your monthly donors should know that you value them most for their generous recurring gifts. Ensure these donors know you value them beyond their financial contributions by including them in the campaign creation process. Ask your donors to submit fundraising event ideas or have them vote on their favorite theme for your annual golf tournament, 5k or gala. Simple survey tools, like SurveyMonkey, allow you to send out surveys to your donors through email. People take a sense of pride and ownership in something they helped create and as a result are much more likely to engage, support, and share it with friends, family and their community.
Leverage the power of video
Engaging with your supporters through video is becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. By the year 2020, online videos will make up more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic globally. (Source: Cisco)
It’s a powerful way to connect and thank your most loyal supporters in a format they already use and love – video. After a monthly donor has had a recurring gift processed for several consecutive months, send that donor a personalized thank you video. You might be wondering how you’re going to have the time and resources needed to plan, produce, and send personalized videos to all of your recurring donors… the great news is that a simple video shot on a smartphone is all you need. Smartphones have made it possible for anyone to make a video anytime, anywhere, and send it to anyone. Take a 20-30 second video of your Executive Director, a board member, or a spirited volunteer thanking this donor and share a quick impact story or status update on a current project. If possible, you can take it one step further and have the video come from someone directly impacted by the work of your organization, such as a student receiving a scholarship, or a veteran receiving a service dog. Since over 2.53 billion people worldwide own a smartphone and that number will grow by another 500 million by 2020 (Source: Statista); it’s simply never been easier to make a quick and impactful connection with your donors.
The more demonstrate to your recurring donors how much you value them, the more they’ll want to give and keep giving. By highlighting them in marketing materials, welcoming their input in your campaign creation process and sending quick but powerful thank you videos, you can ensure these donors feel appreciated. Securing these recurring donations equips your organization with greater financial stability and paves the way to drive action, results, and the change you and your donors want to see in the world.