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How small nonprofits can benefit from a recurring donor program

November 28, 2021
5 minutes

Call them sustainers, monthly donors, or recurring donors, having a strong base of regular donors can make a big difference for your nonprofit’s bottom line. Especially if you’re a small nonprofit with a small team or a team of one, you want to maximize your efforts and resources. A recurring donor program will help you do just that!

Your small and mighty nonprofit has big aspirations to do good in the world—a recurring giving program will help you get predictable revenue in the door, streamline your fundraising efforts, and set you up for some potentially big gifts down the road.

Here are a few of our favorite ways small nonprofits can benefit from a recurring donor program.

Predictable revenue to make your heart pitter-patter

Hands down the best benefit of a recurring donor program for small nonprofits is the predictable revenue it generates. This can provide some much welcome stability to your cashflow situation and make planning a whole lot easier. Plus, over time as you keep building your recurring donor program, you’ll have better data to predict your recurring donor acquisition rate and that will give you the ability to do some fancy revenue forecast modeling to help you fund your amazing work.

Recurring Donor Program = Efficient Fundraising

One of the biggest benefits of a recurring donor program for small nonprofits is the efficiency it brings to your fundraising program. While you do have to have an eye to retaining recurring donors, recurring donor retention tells to be higher than one-time donors. That means less time acquiring new donors and hustling for more and more and more one-time donations.

Plus, when you have great tech tools in place, the administrative work that goes into a recurring donor program is wayyy less of a headache. Payments get processed on time, expiring credit cards are dealt with ahead of time and receipts get set to donors without endless mail merges.

Need some ideas to jumpstart your recurring giving program? Check out these four strategies to get the recurring giving party started.

Higher annual donor value and even higher lifetime donor value

According to monthly giving expert, Erica Waasdorp, right now the average recurring donor gives between $24 and $36 a month for a total of $288 to $432 per year! How does that average annual recurring donor value stack up against your average donor value? There might be low-hanging fruit in your fundraising program as you convert one-time donors into recurring donors. With less effort and asks over time, you'll see the average of their annual contributions continue to climb.

Increase the likelihood of that ultimate gift—the planned gift

While recurring donors' overall annual contributions can easily exceed that of non-recurring donors, recurring donors also have higher lifetime value as they are more likely to leave a planned gift. According to U.K.-based researcher Richard Radcliffe, recurring donors are seven times more likely to leave a planned gift. Seven times!

This means that not only can you cultivate a long term base of recurring donors, you can focus on a long-term goal of securing more planned gifts and at an increased likelihood because of the work you put into your recurring donor program.

If having the right tools to start a recurring donor program has stopped your nonprofit in its tracks, Funraise Free is here to help. The tools you need to start and grow a recurring donor program are all included in Funraise Free. Get started today and get ready for some world-changing fundraising!  

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