January 8, 2020 Douglas Shaw & Associates

For Douglas Shaw & Associates first webinar of the new year—and new decade!—Keys to Building a Monthly Donor Program, we took a good, hard look at how to build a successful Monthly Donor Program—and what vital for a growing organization like yours.

Why Build a Monthly Program

For every nonprofit, long-term donor value is fundamental, and a well-designed monthly (aka sustainer) program will do just that, while limiting the monthly ups and downs of regular donation revenue.

And as you deepen your relationship with these sustaining partners, you’ll encourage and enhance their commitment, establishing them as your most enthusiastic advocates.

How to Build a Sustainable Monthly Donor Program

When it comes to building a monthly donor program, building it right from the ground up is crucial, because all your assumptions get cemented into the foundation of its structure.

To make sure your assumptions are correct, the foundation is solid and program is sure, here are the keys to success discussed in the webinar:

    • Investing in Research

The long-term value of optimizing your monthly donor program far outweighs the cost of investing in professional research that yields profound, practical insights.

    • Targeting at the Right Levels

Not all donors are candidates for a monthly program: for a major donor giving $1,000 at fiscal year-end, joining a monthly program could easily be a downgrade.

But for a $30 donor who gives two or three times a year, becoming a sustainer is a massive upgrade, translating to $360 or more over a year’s time!

    • Keeping Monthly Donors in Your Appeals

Your monthly donors are the super-fans of your cause, so including them in several strategic mailings gives them more reasons to give over-and-above—and most will be grateful for the opportunity!

    • Not Limiting Your Program to Auto-Recurring Donors

Many organizations make the mistake of automatically going for the auto-recurring gift. This leaves a lot of funding on the table, because many monthly donors want to engage with you personally each month by sending in their check or credit card gift.


There is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Learn from the successes and failures of other organizations, invest in research upfront, and build a monthly donor program that will benefit your organization for decades to come!

For more #fundraising insight that get #RESULTS, join us March 11th at 12:00 p.m. CST for our next webinar DATA CO-OP ROUNDTABLE. You definitely won’t want to miss it! Register online today.

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