Editor’s note: Check out the recent webinar that Erica presented with us: How to Create Sustainable Funding with Monthly Donors. Last week, Erica Waasdorp of A Direct Solution answered questions about  getting started with a monthly giving program. ...

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Communicating with Monthly Donors: An Interview with Erica Waasdorp and more...

Communicating with Monthly Donors: An Interview with Erica Waasdorp

Editor’s note: Check out the recent webinar that Erica presented with us: How to Create Sustainable Funding with Monthly Donors.

Last week, Erica Waasdorp of A Direct Solution answered questions about  getting started with a monthly giving program. In this installment, Erica takes on communicating with monthly donors: what to say, how to thank them, and how often can you nudge them to upgrade (without driving them crazy).E.W.

Communicating with Monthly Donors

We have a few monthly donors, and we’re sort of unsure if there is something we should be doing to celebrate and acknowledge their gifts each month. Right now, we’re sending one initial thank you letter, and then each month they get a receipt. We think it’s boring, but we just haven’t made fixing it a priority. What do you think?

Erica Waasdorp (EW): If the receipt is automatically generated by your email system (some donation systems do that and you can’t suppress them), so be it. Just keep them as you have them.

If you can suppress the automatic receipts, think about replacing them with something a bit more warm and fuzzy that’s sent not quite as often. It may be something you’re already doing for your big...

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Getting Started with Monthly Giving: An Interview with Erica Waasdorp

Recently, Erica Waasdorp of A Direct Solution presented a webinar on creating sustainable funding with monthly donors. With over 1,000 people participating, it was impossible to answer everyone’s questions live. Luckily, Erica offered to answer your questions in another format: a three-part blog series on monthly giving.

In this installment, Erica answers questions about starting a monthly giving program: why it’s important, which types of donors are the best prospects, and how you can get your program off the ground.

Getting Started with Monthly Giving

What’s the value of having monthly donors?E.W.

Erica Waasdorp (EW): Simply put, monthly donors offer a consistent stream of revenue for nonprofits. Just to give you an idea, the average revenue of 300 monthly donors is almost $87,000 per year. That’s $24 per month and it’s based on a real-life example. Imagine what you can do with that funding?

If donors give monthly, are they less likely to donate to a specific campaign?

EW: Here, it depends how often you’re appealing to your monthly donors. If you’re reaching out two to four times a year, you should be fine. If you ask more than that, I recommend you choose the four...

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Which Jane Austen Character Has Your Fundraising Style?

“It is a truth universally acknowledged…”

Just like the timeless characters of a Jane Austen novel, fundraisers come with many different personalities. Which one are you?

Marianne Dashwood

Ms. Marianne Dashwood

Marianne Dashwood, a little too trusting.

The “sensibility” from Sense and Sensibility, the younger Dashwood sister often lets her emotions dictate her decisions. She gets majorly excited about an idea, latches on hard, and becomes hopelessly devoted to it.

The downside of this devotion is that Marianne-types often ignore objections or words of caution from others until it’s too late. On the positive, they’re passionate for the cause, and their enthusiasm is infectious.

If you’re like Marianne: Pay attention to your colleagues’ ideas and suggestions. They’re just trying to help. Keep up the enthusiasm. And get some of your pessimistic pragmatic colleagues to collaborate with you on a fundraising plan.

Elinor Dashwood

Ms. Dashwood

Elinor Dashwood, the perfect model of dignity and sense (and skepticism).

The “sense” in Sense and Sensibility, Elinor is prudent and methodical. She guards her heart carefully. It keeps her out of trouble for the most part, but it also holds her back from...

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How I Started My First Monthly Giving Program

Note from the editor: Because our subscribers don’t always have the opportunity to read every post we have published on this blog (over 2,650!), we’ll be sharing some top posts to give you plenty of fundraising and marketing ideas to implement over the next few months.

In this post about monthly giving, guest blogger Sandy Rees tells you how she created her first monthly giving program, lessons learned, and tips you can put into action right now.


I didn’t know much about monthly giving until she called in late December that year.

She was one of my newest donors, and told me her family had just moved here from another state. She had given monthly to the food bank there, and now would like to give monthly to the food bank here. (That would be us).


I didn’t have a monthly giving program and didn’t know how they worked, but I knew I had to think quickly—I could send her 12 reply envelopes so she could send in a gift each month. It would be simple for her and easy for me. So that’s what I did, and my first-ever monthly giving program was born.

I remember counting out the envelopes, and writing the month on each one. I thought...

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The Importance of the Thank You: Creating an Attitude of Gratitude

From early childhood, we are taught the magic words: thank you.  I don’t have to tell you that these two simple words can make or break the relationship between an organization and its donors.

Most nonprofits know how important it is to send acknowledgment letters after receiving gifts. We dutifully thank our donors for the recorded gift date and amount and tell the donor about the many great works we perform because of the gifts we receive. Some of us even add the executive director’s signature as a personal touch. We thank our donors and move on to the next task.

But, to truly engage and retain donors, we need to do so much more!

We need to foster an attitude of gratitude and create a culture of “thanks-4-giving!” Developing a donor-centric gift acknowledgment policy is key to ensuring our donors feel appreciated and our board members are excited about fundraising – which is a win-win for any organization!

To create an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE, consider the good ole’ fashion 5Ws and an H:

Who is involved in each step of the thank you process?

  • Invite board members into the thank you process. Thank them first and recognize their gifts and role as huge supporters of your...

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