Can You Ask for Recurring Gifts at Fundraising Events?
The short answer is YES!
The statistics surrounding recurring (monthly, sustaining) gifts bring joy to a fundraiser: the overall number of sustaining donors is growing by 25% a year, revenue is increasing by 17% per year, donor retention over 90%, and a lifetime value of 440% over one-time donors.* At a time when the overall number of donors is falling and retention hovers around 45%, a recurring gift program is a great addition to the fundraising toolbox.
Asks for recurring gifts most often occur online or via direct mail appeals. Yet any ask is an opportunity to encourage monthly giving, even during a giving moment (fund-a-need) at a special event. Case in point: by combining mission-focused messaging throughout the event, a carefully placed reminder about the option of monthly giving and a pledge card that made it easy to sign-up as a monthly donor, one of our clients recently had donors pledge $10,000 in annual recurring gifts in addition to the night-of fund-a-need gifts.
Once you’ve got monthly donors signed up, don’t forget about them! They need to be thanked and acknowledged appropriately (acknowledge after every gift, gratefully thank on an on-going basis) and shown the impact of their gifts throughout the year. They are often good prospects for further engagement (and additional support, outside of their monthly giving) – make sure to reach out and learn more about their motivations and interests.
Want to learn more? We’d be happy to talk strategy about asking for recurring gifts at your event and deepening relationships with these donors. Just give us a call!
*Some statistics apply to online giving only
Statistics from Classy, The State of Modern Philanthropy 2018; M&R Benchmarks Study 2019; The Fundraising Effectiveness Project 2018; and NextAfter, The Nonprofit Recurring Giving Benchmark Study.