Recurring giving can be an effective fundraising ask during COVID-19. Here’s why focusing on recurring giving for #GivingTuesdayNow is a smart step for your nonprofit, and likely to grab donors’ attention.

Recurring giving is important to nonprofits year-round, even when we are not in the middle of a pandemic. Recurring donors are people who make an ongoing commitment to support your nonprofit’s work and provide consistent, predictable revenue. And when there’s a crisis, that predictable donation becomes even more important to rely upon.

#GivingTuesdayNow is on May 5, 2020. Here’s why encouraging recurring giving should be a key part of your fundraising plan.

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1. It’s a smaller ask

There’s a lot of economic anxiety right now. Unemployment is at a record high, lots of people are unable to work due to layoffs and furloughs, and even those who are lucky enough to still be at work at keeping a close watch on their finances. So, for many people, asking for a smaller donation that recurs monthly feels more approachable than a large one-time donation.

A monthly donation is a smaller amount ($10, $20, and so on) that allows donors to make a bigger contribution over the course of a year. (For instance, a $20 monthly donation equals $240 annually for your nonprofit.) Under normal circumstances, this is a great way for people who may be unable to give in large amounts to increase their impact in an approachable manner. And during COVID-19, it also allows people who may be experiencing financial hardship or simply anxiety about laying out larger amounts of money to help in a meaningful way, without breaking the bank.

2. It’s asking for a long-term commitment to your nonprofit’s work

Sure, a monthly donation is a smaller financial ask, but it’s actually a much bigger commitment than a one-time donation: you’re asking donors to make a regular, ongoing commitment to your nonprofit’s mission and work. You’re asking for them to become donor that helps sustain your organization month after month, year after year. And during COVID-19, that’s a message that can really resonate with donors.

Especially for nonprofits whose work may be less visible right now, because you’re not providing direct aid or have had to scale back operations temporarily, this can be an effective message and fundraising appeal. You’re asking donors to invest in your nonprofit’s future — and when you’re not operating at full capacity, that can be the best way to ask for donations.

3. Recurring donors are more likely to give again

Because recurring donors are invested in your work and giving every month, these are people who are fully on board with your nonprofit’s mission. And that makes them much more likely to be responsive to your fundraising appeals throughout the year. So, that means that in addition to their monthly gift, you can count on them to give outside of that throughout the year. When you ask, these are the tried-and-true supporters who will show up for you.

That means it’s worth the effort to devote your #GivingTuesdayNow campaign to getting new recurring donors. You’re not just getting an additional $15 per month when a new recurring donor signs up. You’re getting that person’s long-term buy-in, their attention and concern. And they’re much more likely to make one-time donations in response to future campaigns.

4. It moves donors down the pipeline

Your nonprofit probably has a base of donors who give each time you have a campaign, and perhaps sporadically throughout the year. You can count on their donations, but they make sporadic one-time donations. And the reason they’re not giving monthly? Well, it’s possible you haven’t asked!

Running a campaign focused on recurring giving will allow you to capture these individuals, move them down the donor pipeline, and get them giving even more regularly.

5. It’s an easy campaign to put together quickly

We’ve talked before about how to put a #GivingTuesdayNow or COVID-19 relief campaign quickly. And recurring giving is a quick, easy-to-understand campaign message that’s perfect for getting a fundraiser together quickly!

The messaging is baked in with recurring giving:

  • “We’re asking you to pledge your support to our work year-round.”
  • “Please make a small monthly gift that will enable us to continue our important work.”
  • “Invest in the future of our nonprofit and help keep us funded through COVID-19.”

So, it’s an easy campaign message with multiple benefits for your nonprofit and the donor. If you’re struggling to find your footing in time for #GivingTuesdayNow or wondering how to craft a fundraising appeal during a pandemic, this is a simple way to fundraise and get major results.

Recurring donations on Mightycause

Monthly donations are super easy to set up on Mightycause: all it takes is the click of a button! When donors are checking out, they will have the option to choose to make their donation monthly. You can nudge donors in that direction by utilizing Checkout Flow customization that allows you to tailor the suggested donation amounts and descriptions to emphasize the importance of monthly donations. Recurring donations can be set up by donors through your organization’s profile on Mightycause, the widget on your website, or your custom donation page.

screenshot of donation widget

Users have total control over their donations. Through their Mightycause accounts, they can update their credit card info, switch the donation to a different card, update the amount, or cancel if they need to. So, it’s easy as can be for donors to set up and manage their donations, and an easy campaign message for your nonprofit.

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