How to launch a monthly donation program

We’ve set a goal this year to launch our monthly donation program, where do we start? I realize this is a big topic, but we’re looking for the most important things to consider as we get started building a recurring program with Funraise.

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Awesome! A strong recurring program is an essential part of scaling your online fundraising. I have a few quick thoughts below, but this will be a great place for organizations to share their strategies that have worked.

Make it a Focus
Change your donation buttons to “Give Monthly” and default your forms to a monthly frequency - it’s easy for a donor to select one-time if that is their preference.

Make your monthly donor program a central part of your website experience. If your monthly program is buried in a list of “ways to get involved” you’ll be losing supporters who would likely become monthly donors if you asked them more directly.

Give it a name
Branding this community of donors makes it special - because it is. It should feel like I am joining a group of donors that is central to the impact of the organization. Naming the program and inviting supporters to join makes this more than just a donation.

Communicate, communicate, communicate the impact
How will monthly donations be put to work? Communicating this starts on the donation page and continues with each email newsletter. Regular recognition of monthly donor’s impact is important.

Launch a kick-off campaign
Run an email or call campaign for one-time donors who gave in the last 12 months. Make it easy for them to join with a dedicated landing page… or better yet… when a donor makes a one-time donation with Funraise, their payment method is saved on their record. This means you can just call or email a donor and ask if they would like to start giving monthly. If they do, you can create the recurring donation with their saved payment method without any effort from your donor.

Have a plan for churn
Recurring donor churn is something to be ready for. It’s a reality for subscriptions with cards that expire or can be canceled for many reasons. Funraise has a few tools to reduce churn, but it’s something you’ll want to monitor.

Funraise Card Genie is a tool that can update cards automatically in the event a donor’s card is expired and replaced, for example - it’s not a perfect tool, but it’s an important part of the churn reduction puzzle. This is a default Funraise feature.

A Card Updater Email is sent when a recurring transaction fails. The email contains a link to a page where the donor can update their payment method. This is a default Funraise feature.

The Expiring Recurring Donor email campaign sends emails to a recurring donor before their card expires. You’ll need to configure and activate these emails. You can add a link in these emails with a merge tag that will link to the payment method updater page.