One Third of Nonprofits Do Not Ask for Gifts


by Erica Waasdorp of NonProfit PRO

When I teach webinars aimed at growing monthly giving programs, I typically do some polls.

One of the questions I have asked is, “How often do you ask your donors to give monthly?” The sad reality was that 35% said they never asked. My obvious response is, “How do you expect to grow your program?”

Never mind monthly gifts, I still see way too many organizations that are hesitant to ask for money. Too many people worry about reaching out to their donors. Many small organizations may send one or two appeals a year! That’s surprising because research shows that the more you communicate, the more engaged your donors will be.

Will you lose some donors who unsubscribe from your email newsletter? Yes, probably. But the engagement you get from the people you keep is higher, and you’ll raise more money.

As you know, I’m always on the lookout for statistics on monthly giving, so I was excited that M&R just published their 2019 Benchmarks. You can download them right here.

Monthly giving now makes up 16% of all online revenue, which is up from 13% in 2017. If it wasn’t for monthly gifts, online revenue last year would have been down.

What does this mean? Those organizations that started asking donors and non-donors to give monthly a while back are now ahead of the curve. Many of them did so especially with the new administration late 2016/early 2017, and they’re reaping the benefits now.

Email and organic online monthly gifts continue to grow, and it’s the easiest and cheapest way to get donors to give monthly. So if you’re still part of the one third who is worried about asking for monthly gifts, I recommend you rethink your plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

Better yet, don’t wait. Send some email tests in the next few months, and you’ll have a running start for FY 2020! It’ll be here before you know it.

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