How do Monthly Donors Compare to Annual Fund Donors?

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June 8, 2017


This is a guest blog written by Erica Waasdorp, President off A Direct Solution. A Direct Solution helps nonprofits raise sustainable revenue through annual appeals and monthly giving. As part of NextPage’s Lunch & Learn series, on June 15th, 2017 Erica hosted a seminar at the NextPage offices entitled “How to Grow your Donor Base to Create a Monthly Giving Machine.” To gain access to the seminar click here.

During a recent webinar I did for DonorPerfect and the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the question came up: How do monthly donors compare to annual fund donors?

The answer is, monthly donors are really annual fund donors, EXCEPT they’re giving MORE MONEY and they give REGULARLY. So, they’re a step up!

And even better news is that many monthly donors will also still give to your annual fund appeals (if you ask them). Often they came to you first because they gave to an appeal. Asking donors to give monthly is not only convenient for you and your cash flow, but it’s also more convenient to your donors. You’re really doing them a favor if you offer monthly giving to them.

I find that so many organizations are only sending two to four appeals to their annual fund donors to begin with, so never be afraid to ask monthly donors to make a special gift. Just recognize them in a special way.
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If you look at the donor pyramid, you’ll see that monthly donors fall just above annual fund donors, because you’ve UPGRADED them to give more money. In many cases, they’ll give you three to four times more. They’re going to stay with your for many years to come, and, they’re going to be 6 to 7 times more likely to leave you in their will. What’s not to like about that?

But, remember, unless the donor asks you to only send you one update a year, make sure that you keep them in your mail communication stream. They really like what you do and they really are part of your organization. By converting an annual fund donor into a monthly donor, you’ve made them an even bigger investor in your mission. So make sure you treat them appropriately. They’re really not your tiny donors any more!


President of A Direct Solution, Erica Waasdorp has been an expert at direct response and fundraising for over 20 years. Before opening up A Direct Response in 2003, she worked for a multitude of corporations, where she spearheaded fundraising campaigns raising millions of dollars, acquiring and retaining thousands of donors, and developing planned-giving programs. She is also the author of Monthly Giving. The Sleeping Giant. and is an avid blogger and fundraiser in her own community.

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