When it comes to fundraising for a single, one-off event, you can typically creatively convince people to donate money or sponsor said event. Acquiring recurring donations is a skill on a completely different level. It’s still not the most difficult thing in the universe to do though! In fact, collecting recurring donations boils down to a few key points.
The ever popular “Keep It Simple Stupid” rule. If you want people to donate every month, every year, or whatever time period you want them to the best way to make sure that happens is to make it so easy they don’t even have to think about it. Make it so they can set up a credit card payment that automatically gets withdrawn into WePay. They enter their information once, and then they don’t even have to look at it from that point forward. Don’t add multiple forms and hoops they have to jump through just to get to one end result. They’ll often give up after the first page of instructions.
If you don’t ask, the answer is always no, right? Look back at donor lists from previous events, or people who donated once or twice and send them a courtesy email (or hand written letter, depending on how many people you have) and ask them to become a recurring donor. You’d be surprised how many people don’t do this because they think “Oh, that person already gave money, they won’t want to do it again.” Not true! People want to give, especially if they’ve already shown commitment to your cause. All you have to do is ask the question.
Humans are reward driven individuals. Tell someone if they do something “charitable” that they’ll get something out of it and you’ve just increased your probability of getting them to donate that much more. T-Shirts, plaques, some type of “recognition” award. People want to be noticed, even if they give an “anonymous” donation. If you recognize them without them having to ask they’ll still be flattered.
Similar to a reward, you can offer them exclusivity to something. More information about what they’re donating to, where the money is going to use, first selection of slots to events that your charity/non-profit is putting on, etc. Anything to make them feel special. Truth be told, charitable donations are usually more to make the donor feel good about themselves than it is a selfless act. It’s not harsh, it’s just true. Everything we do is selfish to some extent – so play off of that. Make them feel like what they’re doing is worth every penny they give each month.
Try these steps out. See what happens, then come back and tell me about it. And as always, if you’ve got anything to add, or any methods you’ve used in the past that have worked for you, we want to hear about them!