6 Proven Best Practices for Your Sustained Giving Program

May 18, 2017 Ali Martinez

Recurring donations aren’t a new concept. In fact, we have long been speaking about their merits. A surprisingly relevant Blackbaud whitepaper from 2004 states: “…[F]undraisers are on a search for new techniques that increase donations, build donor loyalty and add a new level of predictability, while also improving operational efficiency.”

Still true over 13 years later!

It’s no surprise that sustained or recurring giving continues to justify its worth as a valuable fundraising technique. The concept of recurring gifts is simple: donors commit to a donation amount that is paid regularly — most often monthly, and occasionally bi-monthly or quarterly.

In Sustainers in Focus Part 1, the Blackbaud Institute uncovered the justifications for a sustained giving program. If you’re wondering if sustained giving is applicable to your organization, spoiler alert: the answer is YES! I’d highly suggest reading through the report to learn why.

But it’s not enough to say what works. The next step is mapping out the practices that you can implement to make your sustained giving program a success. That’s why, in the newly released Sustainers in Focus Part 2, we’ve shared six best practices for supporting a sustained giving program.

The six best practices uncovered in Sustainers in Focus Part 2 can help jump-start a monthly giving program or take your current processes to the next level. I’d suggest revisiting these practices frequently to make sure you’re on target, and reread Sustainers in Focus Part 1 to remind yourself of the bottom line: sustained giving works.

The top six best practices for sustained giving programs:

  1. Ask new donors to give on a monthly basis.
  2. Convert multi-year, single gift donors to sustainers
  3. Make monthly giving the website default
  4. Use a credit card updater service and update invalid credit card data
  5.  Encourage donors to use electronic funds transfer
  6. Steward your sustainers

I know what you might be thinking: “This all looks great, but how do I actually do these six things?” Well, I’m glad you asked! We’re kicking off a new blog series that will dive deeper into each of these six practices to explain the ins and outs to help you create your foolproof program step-by-step.

Trust me, implementing these practices will be worth your time. You’ll turn your revolving door into a place donors will want to stay. By creating a convenient experience for your monthly donors, you’ll gain the benefit of higher sustained revenue and a group of committed, loyal donors that want to incessantly support your organization.

So, stay tuned for our next post on asking new donors to give on a monthly basis. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with another timeless quote from Blackbaud in 2004:
“Incorporating a recurring gift program into your integrated fundraising strategy is well worth the effort.”

I couldn’t agree more.

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