How Nonprofits Can Build a Case for Recurring Monthly Donations

Recurring donations are monetary gifts that donors commit to giving to your organization on a schedule–typically monthly. Once the donor selects a monthly gift amount and enters their credit card or banking information, their donation is automatically deposited into your nonprofit’s account once a month until the donor cancels the transaction.

Graphic: Monthly recurring donations

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Recurring monthly donations are extremely beneficial to nonprofit organizations for a few reasons:

1. They enable efficient planning. Monthly donations represent regular, recurring revenue that your organization can count on, making it easier to plan for expenses and fundraising campaigns.

2. They tend to be larger donations. According to Network for Good, the average recurring donor gives 42% more during the course of a year than a one-time donor. As monthly gifts tend to be larger than one-time donations, they make a more significant impact on your organization’s overall fundraising goals and benchmarks.

3. They create engaged donors. Monthly donors tend to be more loyal and engaged than one-time donors – making them more likely to give additional gifts and volunteer their time in the future.

4. They are convenient. As monthly donations are deposited directly into your organization’s account, this giving option is more convenient for both donors and your administrative staff.

Nonprofits - Creating a Case for Recurring Monthly Donations

How to Secure Recurring Monthly Donations for Your Nonprofit Organization

Step One: Shift your strategy to prioritize monthly gifts. To encourage visitors to make monthly donations, you first have to ask them! Begin by outlining recommended gift amounts and highlighting monthly giving as the most popular option. From there, tie a special status or membership to monthly giving. For example, your organization can offer exclusive content, special events, or advance ticket sales to individuals who commit to giving a monthly donation.

We also recommend asking former one-time donors to “upgrade” to monthly donors, as these individuals have already demonstrated a proven interest in your organization and are very likely to make a new commitment.

Step Two: Describe exactly what monthly gifts accomplish. Donors need to know that their gift is going to make a difference. To that end, we recommend explaining in concrete, tangible terms what their monthly donations will accomplish. For example, create a chart that demonstrates that a gift of $25 per month buys school supplies for 100 underprivileged kids, while $50 per month buys a year’s worth of vaccines and medications for those same children.

Step Three: Create custom content for monthly donors. Once your organization receives a recurring gift, it’s time to nurture that relationship to ensure donor satisfaction and create loyal advocates. To begin, thank donors within 48 hours of receiving their gift with a note or phone call. Expressing the organization’s gratitude in a timely manner will encourage donors to continue giving.

From there, we recommend sending monthly donors exclusive content designed to celebrate their support, thank them for their continued gift giving, and maintain their interest in your nonprofit’s work. For example, routinely update your recurring donors on the progress your organization is making and emphasize that their ongoing support is what makes that progress possible.

See related:


Nonprofit Hub, Why Recurring Gifts Matter,

Network for Good, A Nonprofit’s Guide to Recurring Giving,

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