A Story to Show the Power of Monthly Donors

old jg fundraising, Philanthropy Leave a Comment

catholic extension

Monthly donors to Catholic Extension give $20,000 over two decades

This is the most amazing little story from Catholic Extension:

Devoted to the Cause

I encourage you to click the link and read the full story about Virginia and Richard Miles. In brief, they are just a regular couple … probably middle-income, likely focused mostly on raising their family and doing what they can to improve the world. And yet, they have donated over $20,000 to support a mission that moved their heart.

How did they do it?

$100 per month. For TWENTY years!

Everyday donors are capable of remarkable generosity. Many other nonprofits would have overlooked a $100 donor, and probably would not have noticed that these monthly donors returned year after year.

But Catholic Extension did not just value them for their transactions — but for their relationship!

This is the heart of real development. It is not just about fundraising; it is about cultivating lifetime supporters and advocates for your mission.

If you lead a nonprofit, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. How easy is it for your annual donors to become monthly donors?
  2. What do you do differently for your monthly donors in terms of receipts for each gift? If you send them the same generic receipt each month, that’s a great way to tell them that you don’t notice/appreciate their ongoing commitment.
  3. What do you do regularly (at least annually) to thank them for being a part of your monthly giving program?
  4. Do you track the lifetime value of a donor’s giving? Do you do anything special to celebrate their “milestone” markers? (i.e. once they have collectively donated more than $1,000 . . . $10,000 . . . $100,000?
  5. Regardless of their giving, do you find ways to share donors’ stories alongside your clients’ stories? Does your communications program portray them as partners in a shared mission, or as some kind of “other”?

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