What Are Monthly Donor Programs and Why Should You Have One?


Monthly giving is a way to create a dependable and predictable source of monthly revenue for your organization. Through regular contact (mail outs, thank you calls, events, etc., you can develop a pool of monthly donor prospects.

The benefits for your organization include:

  • The predictability of monthly cash flows
  • Lower administration costs (process one receipt per year, send less mail, etc.)
  • A monthly donor program softens the impact of donor attrition
  • Smaller, manageable monthly gifts may enable your donors to give more. For example, if Mr. Smith has been giving you a $1,000 per year and he joins the monthly donor program at $100 per month, his yearly giving is now $1,200.
  • Individuals who give every month, for years believe in what you do. They are among your best advocates. (Hint: This group of people are also good prospects for your planned giving program)

The benefits for your donors include:

  • More affordable giving and easier to manage within their monthly budget
  • Less mail
  • They don’t have to think about it because it’s an automatic process
  • (Staff) can give through an automatic payroll deduction process and their yearly donation can be noted on their T4 slips
  • Perks (to be determined by your organization) examples include: VIP treatment at your events, or specific events for monthly givers, access to insider information such as future plans or focus groups, etc.

7 Steps to building a Monthly Donor Program

  1. Give your monthly donor program a meaningful name
  2. Launch it internally first.  Ask your board and staff to consider participating. (This doesn’t need to be a huge commitment – even $5 a month works. It’s good for internal morale and external communications to show that all, or a high percentage of, your closest stakeholders are participating)
  3. Decide on the criteria that determines which of your donors are prospects
  4. Send a letter introducing your new program; highlighting the benefits of monthly giving and invite your donors to join up
  5. Repeat process with new prospects each year
  6. Consider including a monthly giving option on all your response devices
  7. Make sure to thank your monthly donors often

Can you think of other benefits associated with a monthly giving program? Do you have strategies to share that have worked well for your organization?

The purpose of The Other Bottom Line is to facilitate discussions that will help us all to better engage with our communities. Your participation and feedback are most welcomed and valued. Please join the discussion below.



  1. Pingback: Does Your Small Charity need a Monthly Donor Program? | Guerrilla Tactics for the Small Charity

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