Monthly Giving: Worth The Work?


What keeps you from creating a thriving monthly gift program?

As a donor, I love monthly giving. I know one of my favorite nonprofits is receiving essential revenue to empower the life change they make possible. And with little work required on my part once the automatic transaction is set up, I’m making an ongoing impact.

Most organizations I talk to as a fellow fundraiser know intuitively how valuable a monthly gift program can be, but far fewer of them actually have a thriving program. They’re enthusiastic about the idea – yet a check-in months later reveals they’ve made little to no progress. Why?

What keeps you from creating a thriving monthly gift program?

Let’s assume your organization still needs to be convinced of the value.

Why your monthly sustainer program is worth every minute of effort you’ll put into it

A study by Network for Good found that over five years, sustainers out-deliver single gift donors by as much as 400%. I’m convinced.

But for those who need more, monthly giving isn’t just good for your organization – it’s also good for your donor. Monthly giving:

·      Increases predictable annual revenue. Monthly donors contribute 30%+ more annual revenue per donor than their single gift counterparts. You can imagine how that would happen just based on the number of gifts.

·      Improves donor retention and increases long-term donor value (LTDV). Automatic giving makes it easy to give year after year, increasing retention rates by 20-30 percent. And the longer a donor gives to an organization, the more likely they are to continue to do so i.e. better long-term donor value.

·      Expands planned gift pipeline. Loyalty frequently trumps all other indicators of likelihood to make a planned gift. Studies show that sustainers are nearly three times more likely than single-gift donors to make a planned gift to our organization.

·      Simplifies the giving experience. Monthly giving – especially auto pay – makes it super easy for your donors. It happens like clockwork with no planning or effort on their part.

·      Increases impact for donors. Eliminating the expense of monthly appeals cuts down on your fundraising costs putting more of your donor’s money directly to programs and allowing donors to have a greater impact.

·      Strengthens the relationship between donor and Mission. As all of these other benefits indicate, the monthly gift experience creates better engagement and develops a deeper bond between your donors and the organization.

To put some number behind this . . .

Monthly gift expert Harvey McKinnon tells us that anywhere from 5% - 30% of donors might commit to a monthly gift. Let’s take a look at the impact a monthly gift conversion program could have.


Say we have about 400 donors that are contributing $100 annually – you'll generate about $40k.

Now take that same 400 donors and convert them to monthly givers as shown in scenario 1 and see how the total income skyrockets from this group – 80 percent more revenue in a given year.

What happens if we change the metrics? Maybe we bump up the conversion rate, or the average gift, and you can see that the annual income skyrockets. There is huge potential for your organization in a strategic monthly gift program!

So don’t wait. Build your own case for monthly giving and let’s get started reaping those benefits

If you are convinced of the value of a thriving monthly gift program and want help to make sure your nonprofit is equipped to take full advantage of this opportunity, send us an email at

John Payne