When you’re running a nonprofit, every donation is critical to your mission. In order to have dependable revenue, it’s time to think beyond traditional cash and check giving. Recurring donations that are made automatically online allow your nonprofit or church group to improve the donor experience and benefit from consistent cash flow. This is what you should know if you’re ready to set up and accept recurring donations from your donors.
The Benefits Of Setting Up Recurring Donations
Sustained giving or automatic-recurring donation programs continue to increase in popularity. Nowadays, it’s simply the best way to boost donation rates to meet or exceed your fundraising goals. These are the major benefits of accepting recurring donations.
According to Nonprofits Source, donors that set up recurring donations give 42% more annually, compared to one-time donors.
The amount they give may be smaller on a monthly basis, but in terms of annual donations, it is almost always bigger than a one-time donation. Converting donors to a recurring schedule also gives you a better chance of keeping them as a donor year after year.
People love convenience. It’s as simple as that! The ability to set it and forget it is valuable to donors who want to help, but don’t have the mind space to remember to make donations each month.
Plus, it gives donors the opportunity to give a small amount each month. This takes the pressure off and minimizes the financial impact of a costly one-time gift. Simply put, it creates a more manageable way of giving.
When you improve your cash flow, you can better plan for the future. Looking to offer services to a new community? Perhaps your nonprofit is expanding and in need of more space?
You never want to be stuck with insufficient cash, especially when it comes to growing opportunities. A dependable stream of recurring donations can help you plan from an operational standpoint.
How To Accept Recurring Donations
We covered what you should know about credit card processing for nonprofits in an earlier post, if you need the refresher. Accepting recurring donations as a nonprofit, though, is easier than ever when you take the right steps. Here’s how to get started.
1. Provide donation opportunities at every point of contact
When it comes to fundraisers and events, you must have the ability to accept in-person donations at lightning speed. Mobile card swipers allow for this in a simple and seamless manner.
Set them up for recurring donations with integrated tools that allow donors to make the first swipe and click “Make it monthly!” to automatically set up ongoing donations. They can choose the amount and whether to make weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly donations. Once in the system, their billing information is secure.
2. Build a solid online platform
Your donors probably spend a considerable amount of time online, which means easy web options are critical.
Build a professional website with obvious calls to action for making donations online. Use online tools with “Donate Now” buttons or an online storefront for any merchandise. You can also offer event registration with convenient online payment portals. For all options, prompt users to set up one-time or recurring donations.
3. Maintain an online donor database
When you use online donation software, you’ll have streamlined access to a donor database that helps you keep important information in one place. It makes successful donor outreach easier on you and your team.
To start, you can use this information to stay in touch. From thank you notes to holiday wishes, every message can make a difference. While it may seem trivial, a simple thank you card to your donors might help them decide to increase their monthly contribution. These small details matter.
You can also use your donor database to customize email or physical newsletters to the donor type. For example, if a donor gave $5,000 last year, an up-to-date database will ensure you send the appropriate mailing to them, versus someone who donated $50.
Start A Recurring Donation Campaign For Your Nonprofit
In order for people to consider donating to your organization, they need to recognize their potential impact. A recurring donation campaign can help you effectively communicate the benefits of giving to your particular nonprofit.
The foundation of any successful campaign is answering the “why.”
From the start, clearly state how your monthly donors are making a difference. Whether you’re providing free books for children of low-income families or building homes for veterans, people want to see how far their money will go within your organization. Try something like: “Just $10 per month provides a family with five books” and use powerful graphics to make your point.
Looking to reach a specific goal for a donation campaign? Progress bars are another great way to motivate people to give. Provide the desired goal and allow donors to see how much your nonprofit has raised thus far, as well as how much further you need to go. If you’re following a specific timeline, include this information to highlight the importance of setting up a recurring or one-time donation now.
Finally, provide calls to action that make every potential donor feel acknowledged. For example, add a button with “Not ready to give every month?” and link it to a one-time donation page. Every donation counts, which is important to remember even while conducting a recurring donation campaign.
Maximize Your Recurring Donations With PaySimple
Whether you’re building your nonprofit or have been serving your community for decades, PaySimple can help you accept recurring donations.
With our unique payment tools, you have the power to accept donations by credit card, ACH, and other methods wherever you and your donors happen to be. Whether it’s at an event or online, your donors will have the opportunity to set up a giving schedule. Even better? PaySimple tracks donations and important donor information for safekeeping within a single integrated solution that syncs with your other incoming payments, like those from event registrations or merchandise.