What is recurring giving?
Recurring giving has become a popular method of online giving.
Rather than making a one-and-done donation, donors can make automatic donations multiple times, at regular intervals. This could be weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, or annually.
Also known as “recurring donations,” recurring giving can be turned off at any time, so donors aren’t locked into any kind of contract. If they want to discontinue their automatic donations, they simply need to turn off the recurring donation inside the online giving platform.
Who is recurring giving for?
Recurring giving is for everyone. From churches and ministries, to nonprofits, to political campaigns, to schools, organizations of all types can use and can benefit from recurring giving.
But recurring giving isn’t a zero-sum game. It’s great for organizations of all types, and it’s also useful to donors.
For donors, it makes the donation experience easier, more predictable, and more convenient.
We’ll go over all the benefits of recurring giving below, but for now, know that both organizations and donors can benefit from recurring giving.
What are the benefits of recurring giving?
Recurring giving is a tool that has several benefits packed in. As mentioned above, it’s a useful and helpful tool for organizations, but beyond that, it benefits your donors.
Here are a few benefits of recurring giving:
Recurring giving is predictable
Donations are always helpful and appreciated. But what if they come sporadically?
If the donations come in at random, you can’t properly plan initiatives or projects throughout the year.
On the flip side, if you have donations coming in on a monthly basis, you can better plan for the rest of the year.
Recurring giving is easier on the donor
Want to make life easier on your donors? Give them a way to make their donations simpler and automatic.
You can do this with recurring giving. Donors can set up recurring donations with a single click. After that, the donations will be withdrawn automatically.
Not only is this a much more convenient way to give, but it is also safe and secure.
Recurring donations compound over time
A $75 donation is wonderful. What’s better than one $75 donation?
With recurring giving, you can make that happen.
A monthly $75 donation becomes $900 over the course of the year. That’s the power of recurring giving!
How can nonprofits use recurring giving?
Now that you know all about why recurring giving is so important, let’s talk about specific tactics to start using them in your organization.
Use a recurring upsell
Recurring upsells are great ways to encourage donors to change their one-time gift to a donation.
Here’s how it works:
- The donor comes to your donation page and starts filling out the donation form
- After they click “donate” but before the donation is processed a small pop-up will appear on the screen
- The pop-up will respectfully ask them if they would be willing to convert their one-time gift to a monthly donation
- The donor can then opt-in to the recurring donation with a single click
This is one of the most effective ways to transition from sporadic, one-time gifts to regular recurring donations.
Does your online giving platform offer a tool like this? If not, consider switching to Anedot. We don’t charge any monthly fees and tools like recurring upsells are free to use.
Start a dollar club
If you have a large donor base, but very few donors who give regularly, consider starting a dollar club. This is an effective way to create a snowball effect and turn lots of small donations into something impactful.
You can encourage people to give $1 a day (a $30 donation that recurs on a monthly basis). 1,000 donors opted into a dollar club = $360,000 each year.
Here’s the math:
1000 donors x monthly $30 donation = $30,000
$30,000 x 12 months = $360,000
And that’s when people give only a dollar a day!
Use tiered giving
Different levels of giving tiers are a great way to encourage recurring donations.
Use different tiers to create a sense of exclusivity. Here’s an example of how you could lay out the giving tiers:
- Bronze Club
$50 donation per month
- Gold Circle
$100 donation per month
- Diamond Society
$250 per month
You could create several different giving tiers and include different perks in each tier. For example, in the base level tier, you could provide monthly video updates on your cause on what you are accomplishing.
For the second tier, you could send branded merchandise to the donors each month. For the third tier, you could invite the donors to special VIP events.
Choose a provider who can handle recurring giving
Now that you know the benefits and tactics of recurring giving, it’s time to deploy it.
When considering an online giving platform, there are a few important considerations.
1. Does the online giving platform have recurring upsells?
As we mentioned above, a recurring upsell (automatic prompt that asks the donor to change their one-time gift to a monthly donation) is crucial for building a sustainable donor base.
2. Does the online giving platform charge monthly fees?
If you are paying monthly fees for an online giving platform, you’re probably paying too much. Save money and switch to a platform that only charges per transaction.
3. Can the online giving platform facilitate giving tiers?
Make sure that the platform you choose has a way to set up multiple predefined donation amounts in the giving form. This will enable your donors to easily select the giving tier of their choice.
Side note: Anedot checks all three of the boxes above. Recurring upsells are standard features with Anedot, we don’t have any monthly fees, and amount presets can be added to every donation form.
Get started with recurring giving today
If you aren’t taking advantage of recurring giving, there’s never been a better time to get started.
If you don’t have an online donation platform or are considering switching from your current provider, sign up here.