Guest Post by Chad Peddicord, Executive Vice President of Averill Fundraising Solutions
What’s the one type of supporter coveted by nonprofits more than any other? The recurring giver!
Nonprofits large and small are always trying to figure out new and effective strategies to secure a recurring gifts partnership with their most dedicated supporters.
These partnerships are crucial to your organization’s fundraising strategy but even more integral to the success of your capital campaigns. However, it can be tough to get constituents to agree to making recurring gifts, and even tougher to market this practice over the course of a long fundraising calendar.
Looking for tips on how to solicit recurring gifts from key supporters to bolster your capital campaign goals? You’re in the right place! Check out our top 7 recurring gift solicitation strategies for capital campaigns, including:
- Integrate recurring gifts into your giving form.
- Suggest smaller gifts for monthly giving.
- Market recurring gifts on social media channels.
- Send personalized asks to returning givers.
- Give supporters full control over their recurring gifts.
- Promote recurring gifts during year-end fundraising.
- Show ways to maximize their recurring gifts.
When you figure out which strategies work for your constituency, you’ll start signing up recurring givers faster than ever. Before your next capital campaign, let’s dive into these awesome strategies for boosting recurring donations!
Bonus tip: Is your team looking to learn more ways to optimize your capital campaign’s fundraising efforts? Consider hiring a fundraising consultant to discover more expert insights.
One of the easiest ways to steer supporters toward recurring gifts is to offer them the opportunity to opt into these coveted gifts whenever they make a gift to your capital campaign.
A simple and effective way to accomplish this? Add recurring gift opt-in boxes to your online giving forms! With the right online fundraising software, your team can seamlessly add these boxes as an element of your capital campaign’s forms.
Your online giving form can be optimized to promote recurring giving by:
- Including recurring gift suggestion boxes that promote monthly gifts at set levels. Always remember to include a custom gift option so supporters can give exactly how much they want to.
- Place your recurring gift opt-in box near the field in which supporters set their gift amount; this helps convert extra-inspired givers who are excited to make a long-term difference.
- Include a short note on your online giving form detailing the importance of recurring gifts to furthering your nonprofit’s mission. This way, supporters will see the impact of their giving potential.
Remember: Never make recurring gifts feel like an obligation! Your team should always frame setting up recurring contributions as a generous act on the part of your supporters. The more appreciated you make them feel, the more likely it is they’ll opt in!
Convincing supporters to become recurring gift partners can be difficult since many individuals see this as a hefty investment on their part.
However, by suggesting a small gift amount as their recurring gift to your capital campaign, your team can convert a higher percentage of individuals into recurring givers. This way your nonprofit ensures a steady stream of income without being a burden to your supporters.
You may suggest some of these low-level recurring gift options, including:
- A monthly gift of under $25
- A quarterly gift of $100
- A annual gift of $1,000 or greater
Even though these gifts might individually be smaller than a one-time gift, they’ll eventually add up to a much larger contribution from your supporters. In the end, that’s a more sustainable strategy than relying on periodic larger gifts!
Since your capital campaign’s supporters spend so much of their time on social media sites, it’s no wonder that marketing recurring gifts to them on Facebook and Twitter can make a real impact.
Your nonprofit can share information on your recurring gift program and solicit these partnerships on your social media pages. Be sure to use this as an opportunity to link supporters right to your Ways to Give page or giving form!
Your organization can post different media to promote recurring gifts, including:
- Videos that show supporters the impact that their recurring gifts can have.
- Posts that detail how a recurring gift partnership works.
- Pictures of dedicated recurring givers thanking them for their support.
Connecting with your constituents should already be a key part of your capital campaign’s online marketing strategy. However, if your team isn’t already thinking of ways to make the most of your social media presence, marketing recurring gifts on these channels can be your first step to success!
Another way to boost the number of recurring givers to your capital campaign is to reach out to past contributors with a demonstrated history of giving to your cause.
These individuals are the supporters who are most likely to want to join your recurring gifts program, but they may not know how! Your team should send them personalized letters informing them about the program and asking them to join.
Your message could read as follows:
For [X years], you have been one of the most influential supporters of [Nonprofit Name]’s efforts. To date, you have contributed [$X amount] to [X number of fundraising campaigns]. Your contributions have been incredibly influential to our cause, but we still need your help!
In [this year], consider boosting your impact on our [capital campaign name] by becoming a recurring giver. In just a few clicks, you can sign up for our recurring gifts program on our Ways to Give page…
Sending out personalized letters like these is a surefire way to build reliable relationships with givers that you can count on during your capital campaign and beyond. Since these are proven supporters, they’ll be excited to have the chance to make an extra impact on your larger fundraising efforts.
Bonus tip: For more ways to boost fundraising success for large scale, long-term campaigns, check out Averill Fundraising Solutions’s expert capital campaign guide.
A huge turnoff to supporters is feeling like your nonprofit is trying to trick them into an endless giving subscription. This is why many givers turn down recurring giving solicitations.
When your team solicits recurring gifts from your supporters, be sure to make it clear that they’ll have total control over how much they give, how often they give, and other logistics.
Your recurring gift solicitations should emphasize:
- That supporters can end their recurring gift schedule at any time.
- That gifts can be paused for a period if they aren’t able to give.
- That their giving schedule is customizable by frequency, duration, and number of gifts made.
- That they may give at any level they feel is best for them.
Be sure to include this information prominently in your capital campaign’s marketing materials and in any confirmation emails sent to supporters when they set up their recurring gifts schedule. This way, your constituents feel comfortable giving to your nonprofit and are happy to keep giving.
Perhaps the most popular time for giving each year is during the last few months of the calendar. Year-end giving is also a great time to set up recurring gifts with supporters!
Because givers are in an extra-generous frame of mind, they’ll be more inclined to opt into a partnership. You can even frame this as an alternative to one large gift at the end of the year, giving supporters the chance to spend a little more on their friends’ and family’s gifts.
You can start promoting year-end recurring gifts when the charitable season starts on #GivingTuesday. Feel free to ramp up your recurring gifts marketing efforts on social media, email, and direct mail channels.
Additionally, you might consider launching a dedicated year-end giving page that prominently promotes a recurring gift partnership. You can link to this page in all of your capital campaign’s year-end marketing materials to boost the reach of this page.
Finally, one of the best ways to secure recurring gift partnerships with supporters is to show them that their gifts have the potential to be extra impactful on the success of your capital campaign.
Particularly, many of your supporters may be eligible for their employer’s corporate giving program. Corporate giving programs like volunteer grants and matching gifts can make a huge difference in how far their contributions can go.
Matching gift programs work especially well with recurring gifts. To find out if they’re eligible, show supporters how to use a matching gift database to research the parameters of their employer’s corporate giving program.
Using this tool, they can discover:
- The minimum dollar amount that their employer will match.
- The maximum amount that their employer will match annually.
- Other key details they’ll need to know to file their request.
Because recurring gifts are given out gradually, this strategy makes it easier for supporters to hit the top level their employer will match each year, quite literally maximizing the impact of their gifts to your capital campaign.
For supporters who might be wary of giving in large quantities all at once, setting up a recurring gifts schedule makes it more realistic to reach that matching gift maximum.
Recurring gifts from supporters are one of the best ways to ensure that you reach your capital campaign’s ambitious fundraising goals. With these key strategies, your team is ready to start signing up more recurring givers!
Chad Peddicord’s experience includes more than 15 years collaborating, assisting, directing, and providing strategic guidance to not for profits. Having worked both as a consultant and a chief development officer, Chad brings a unique perspective to his role as Executive Vice President of Averill Fundraising Solutions. This point of view informs his collaborative approach in empowering clients to maximize opportunities and produces optimal results.