Monthly Giving Majority Rules!

Monthly Giving Majority Rules
Date Published
Brett Jones

Does your organization have a monthly giving program? If so, you may have noticed that your retention rates are higher and the annual sustainer “rollover” revenue is growing.

If you think of your monthly givers as part of your band, then consider single-gift donors your fans – you need both to really jam. For many of the organizations we work with, monthly givers will soon outnumber single-gift donors, and, when that happens, best to already be playing by the Monthly Giving Majority Rules. What are the rules? you ask. Here’s the score:

Rule #1 – Other campaigns will soften (if they’re currently maximized) because the “best” part of the donor pool is gone. Your more engaged, mission-driven donors become a part of the recurring gift cycle, leaving the less enthusiastic (but well-meaning) donors to support your annual fund campaigns.


Monthly Giving Revenue Buckets Before


Monthly Giving Revenue Buckets After

Rule #2 – Sustainer conversion and retention are equally important – focus on both! Why convert if you can’t retain? Monthly giving donors have higher lifetime values and retention rates than single-gift donors, so it’s crucial to your success to give similar time and effort to both objectives.

Rule #3 – A comprehensive Communications Plan is key in keeping your team on track. A solid plan will address your objectives (conversion, retention, upgrade, stewardship), identify tactics for each objective (email, social media, remarketing, surveys, letters, postcards, telemarketing), and determine the schedule for each tactic.

Rule #4 – Single-gift donors are still integral to success – don’t ignore them. There will be folks who never convert to monthly giving, but they are so important to your program. Keep them updated, treat them with respect, and they will reward you.

Rule #5 – There will be data-related issues you can’t predict – someone needs to mind the store. Make sure your database administrator can handle processes and problems in a monthly giving majority.

Rule #6 – Give your team authority to make them happy. Let donors take a break rather than cancel. Make it easy for them to catch up on their payments if their credit card expires, or better yet, offer an EFT option. Don’t be so focused on policy and rules, and give your front line the power to make decisions that will delight your donors.

Follow these rules as your monthly giving file grows, and ensure that your organization will keep rockin’ with sustainable, dependable, and ongoing revenue.

Want to learn more about monthly giving programs? Contact us today.

About the Author:
Brett Jones
Vice President of Client Management, Agency Services

Role at the Company

I lead the Agency Services Client Management team. I challenge the team to continually improve our strategy, creative and service, and develop new ideas, so we can provide better solutions and outcomes to our clients.

What excites you about your work at AFG?

I love fundraising! In my career I have had the chance to work with many different organizations that are doing incredible work and really making a difference. I enjoy helping them meet and exceed their goals so they can advance their missions. 

If you weren’t at AFG, what would you be doing?

I have always wanted to work with non-profits and love fundraising. It’s my way of contributing to the greater good. I can’t imagine what else I would do!

What are your hobbies/interests outside AFG?

I love reading, ice skating, and going to the beach in the summer, but most of I love spending time with my daughter.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

Brett is my middle name. I’m actually Sara Brett. But don’t call me Sara if you want me to answer!

What’s your favorite childhood memory?

I remember the first time I rode a bike without training wheels. I was so proud of myself. I was so excited to visit my neighborhood friends by myself.

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