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How to turn cash donors into regular donors

How often do you see an advert on TV, online or in print asking potential supporters of a cause to text a one-off donation? Or requests to donate a one-off contribution to an online campaign?

It’s much easier to ask someone new for a one-off donation. It doesn’t seem like much of a commitment for them, and so the mental barrier about ‘longer term decisions’ is broken down, and they can easily commit to a small, one-off donation.

The trick for fundraisers, however, is successfully turning these one-off cash donors into recurring donors. They are, after all, already interested in your cause.

Successfully turning your one-off donors into recurring donors also means that you don’t actually have to ask them anymore - it’ll be automatic.

So how do you go about doing turning cash donors into regular donors?

There are a few ways to go about it, depending on what how you’re organising your fundraising appeal.

1. Make sure your one-off donation form also offers a recurring option.

Turn would-be cash donors into recurring donors from the start.

Even if your campaign is encouraging a one-off donation for a specific appeal, be sure that there is always an option included on the donations form to give repeatedly, rather than just a one-off.

Obviously, this type of encouragement to become a recurring donor can be harder for text-based fundraising appeals, but there are ways around it.

More on that below.

2. Put a monthly giving ask on your homepage, as well as on donation pages

If a potential one-off donor arrives on your website from print or radio appeal, they might be inclined to give monthly if it is the first thing they see.

It’s not pushy - it’s just good fundraising.

3. Review your language

If you can package your fundraising appeal in such a way that really encourages repeat donations, do so. Make it obvious as possible.

Some examples of this include:

  • Explaining the tier of donations (i.e. giving more money clearly and specifically will accomplish more, monthly donations will accomplish X, Y or Z)
  • Offer a recurring donor a special bonus making them feel more included in your special community of regular supporters

Visual language should also be taken into account. Ensure your donation pages are consistently branded and never generic.

Donors are 31% more likely to initiate a recurring gift on a branded page versus unbranded page.

Remember:

These people generally already love you and your cause, so...

4. Follow up and ask

If the donor has decided to give a one-off donation - follow up with them.

This is particularly relevant for one-off text message based donations who may not have known there was a recurring option.

Figure out a way to include this in a thank you message, or take a look at some case studies of other campaigns who have successfully converted their one-off donors into regular donors.

5. Be timely about it

Following up with your one-off donors is key to encouraging them to become repeat donors, but do it quickly - especially if this is during the holiday season when many charities experience a high volume of one-off donations!

Try sending a thank you message within 48 hours, and another follow up within 60 days.

One-off charity donors become much less likely to sign up to become regular givers after 60 days have passed since they made their donation, according to research by direct marketing agency DMS.

6. Have a plan to process these recurring donors

So you have a few monthly recurring donors.

How are you managing the donor data and ensuring you’re getting the most out of your growing community of regular supporters?

Why not take a look at an integrated solution, such as Donorfy, where you can track all of your charity’s data on your regular donors in one place.

Donorfy was voted #1 product and supplier in the Civil Society Charity CRM Survey 2016, so you can trust that your new regular donors will be well looked after.

Take a look at Donorfy’s full list of featuresor start your 14-day free trial now.

How often do you see an advert on TV, online or in print asking potential supporters of a cause to text a one-off donation? Or requests to donate a one-off contribution to an online campaign?

It’s much easier to ask someone new for a one-off donation. It doesn’t seem like much of a commitment for them, and so the mental barrier about ‘longer term decisions’ is broken down, and they can easily commit to a small, one-off donation.

The trick for fundraisers, however, is successfully turning these one-off cash donors into recurring donors. They are, after all, already interested in your cause.

Successfully turning your one-off donors into recurring donors also means that you don’t actually have to ask them anymore - it’ll be automatic.

So how do you go about doing turning cash donors into regular donors?

There are a few ways to go about it, depending on what how you’re organising your fundraising appeal.

1. Make sure your one-off donation form also offers a recurring option.

Turn would-be cash donors into recurring donors from the start.

Even if your campaign is encouraging a one-off donation for a specific appeal, be sure that there is always an option included on the donations form to give repeatedly, rather than just a one-off.

Obviously, this type of encouragement to become a recurring donor can be harder for text-based fundraising appeals, but there are ways around it.

More on that below.

2. Put a monthly giving ask on your homepage, as well as on donation pages

If a potential one-off donor arrives on your website from print or radio appeal, they might be inclined to give monthly if it is the first thing they see.

It’s not pushy - it’s just good fundraising.

3. Review your language

If you can package your fundraising appeal in such a way that really encourages repeat donations, do so. Make it obvious as possible.

Some examples of this include:

  • Explaining the tier of donations (i.e. giving more money clearly and specifically will accomplish more, monthly donations will accomplish X, Y or Z)
  • Offer a recurring donor a special bonus making them feel more included in your special community of regular supporters

Visual language should also be taken into account. Ensure your donation pages are consistently branded and never generic.

Donors are 31% more likely to initiate a recurring gift on a branded page versus unbranded page.

Remember:

These people generally already love you and your cause, so...

4. Follow up and ask

If the donor has decided to give a one-off donation - follow up with them.

This is particularly relevant for one-off text message based donations who may not have known there was a recurring option.

Figure out a way to include this in a thank you message, or take a look at some case studies of other campaigns who have successfully converted their one-off donors into regular donors.

5. Be timely about it

Following up with your one-off donors is key to encouraging them to become repeat donors, but do it quickly - especially if this is during the holiday season when many charities experience a high volume of one-off donations!

Try sending a thank you message within 48 hours, and another follow up within 60 days.

One-off charity donors become much less likely to sign up to become regular givers after 60 days have passed since they made their donation, according to research by direct marketing agency DMS.

6. Have a plan to process these recurring donors

So you have a few monthly recurring donors.

How are you managing the donor data and ensuring you’re getting the most out of your growing community of regular supporters?

Why not take a look at an integrated solution, such as Donorfy, where you can track all of your charity’s data on your regular donors in one place.

Donorfy was voted #1 product and supplier in the Civil Society Charity CRM Survey 2016, so you can trust that your new regular donors will be well looked after.

Take a look at Donorfy’s full list of featuresor start your 14-day free trial now.