Ep 201 | How to Market your Monthly Giving Program

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How do you get monthly donors to join you? There are several ways you can marketing your monthly giving program and we're sharing a few here on this episode. Getting people to join is an ongoing job. With each new donor you're increasing your monthly gifts and that leads to sustainability for your organization.

So keep at it, stay consistent and continue to layer in various elements of marketing to grow and build your program.

What you'll learn:

→ importance of messaging
→ plan your promotions 
→ leverage your website 
→ ways to promote
→ getting your board members involved
→ promo kits to help make it easy to share

Want to skip ahead? Here are key takeaways:

[4:04] Start with your benefits? Get clear on what the benefits and perks are for your donors. Make sure you have everything all set up and the follow up is lined out so everyone knows their part.
[6:37] Consistency and clarity matter in your messaging. Just like any other fundraising campaign, the messaging matters. Get clear on the impact your donors are making and craft the story you're telling. Put it somewhere where everyone can have access and share. This can also include your branding, name for your program and any other elements that are core to the program.
[9:09] Figure out when you'll promote. Depending on what you have on your calendar you'll want to plan when you share and promote your monthly giving program. You don't want to send too many messages with lots of different actions. Then you can identify updates and edits to your website.
[14:20] Shout it out anywhere and everywhere. Write a blog post that lives on your website with more detailed information. Share on social media over and over. Use impact to continue to highlight the importance of your monthly donors.
[17:25] Create promo kits to help your network share. You can create two promo kits. One that has all the information that your board members, volunteers, etc can share. One that you can make customized for your monthly donors to share with their audience.


[quiz] Should You DIY Your Website?
EP 200 | How to Increase the Annual Value of Monthly Donors with Patrick Kirby
EP 199 | How to Build a Monthly Program Your Donors Want with Tiffany King
EP 198 | The Subscription Model and NonProfits

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Full Transcript

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] So we've talked a lot this month about your monthly giving program from how to think creatively about your subscriptions to talking to your members evaluating the value, and also talking about how to grow those monthly donors into legacy gifts or major donors. But we haven't talked about how to get monthly donors into your stratosphere, otherwise. So that's what we're going to talk about today. And I'm so excited about this. So we're going to talk about how to market your monthly donor program, how to set it up. So whether you're doing a relaunch, or you're just starting from scratch, you could have some tools in your toolbox to get going, get started and build a program that successful. So excited to chat with you about this today. It's one of my favorite things. And you know, that's true. And so we're going to have a fun conversation, from kind of how you just make sure you have all the pieces together, before you get started to how you launch and how you continue to talk about the program moving forward.

Now, I'm gonna say this with a caveat, you have to take this information and really put it together with what's best for your overall promotional structure and campaign structure for your organization. I don't know what all you have going on every year. But this is just something to consider and to put into place. So take the pieces that make sense for your own fundraising, planning, and leave the rest, you don't need to do all of the things. I just want to give you my best recommendations for really growing and building and marketing a thriving monthly giving campaign. So that's what we're going to discuss in today's episode, I'm so glad you're here to wrap up the month of April with me and to chat all things marketing, and monthly giving campaigns been so fun this month talking monthly marketing or monthly donor program with you all month.

Now, if you haven't checked out the rest of the episodes, make sure you head to the show notes at https://thefirstclick.net/201. So that you can see all the other episodes that we talked about or talked through this month. So that you can get a whole big picture on monthly giving remember, we are doing monthly themes. And so it's really exciting to be able to dive deep with you in these months on a particular topic.

So before we get into marketing, your monthly giving campaign, this episode is brought to you by our quiz, should you DIY your website, your website is a hub and a central piece for all things, whether it be fundraising campaigns, or just awareness for your community, educational content, whatever it might be. And if it's not converting for you, if it's not supporting you, if it's not helping you build and grow this month a given campaign, then maybe you need some work. So take our free quiz at https://thefirstclick.net/quiz. To find out if you're ready to do it yourself. If you need some support and get a ton of resources. No matter where you are on the scale. I'm here to help you out and give you the right feedback so that you can start to figure out how to best maximize your website. So you can take advantage of all of those visitors and make sure they're getting to where they need to go and taking action and engaging with your organization. So again, the first click.net/quiz totally free, get some free resources. And let's get your website poppin. For now, let's get into the episode.

[Intro] You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. Each month we dive deep into a digital marketing or fundraising strategy that you can implement in your organization. Each week, you'll hear from guest experts, nonprofits, and myself on best practices, tips and resources to help you raise more money online and reach your organizational goals.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Okay, so let's be real, a monthly giving campaign is something that's a long term strategy, right, you're not going to all of a sudden be bringing in hundreds of 1000s of dollars every month, we need to start somewhere. And we want to slowly build that momentum as we go. So before you even think about marketing, your monthly giving program, number one, make sure you know what the benefits are and what the perks are and like what you're providing to your monthly donors. You can go listen to all of that in other episodes, we're not going to dive deep into that, but have that rock solid first. And then the first thing we do before we even start talking to anybody about it is making sure that we've created the follow up. We know exactly how we're going to follow up with these donors. We have it set up we have a system in place, maybe we've automated some of that. So that can include phone calls that can include handwritten letters that can include deliverability of some of the perks that you've promised, whether that's swag or live events, email marketing automation, so welcome sequence for your donors. Whatever it is that you've decided is going to be your follow up and immediate On response, when somebody becomes a monthly donor, we want to have that in place and tested before we even start talking to anybody about it, right? Because that's the key. That's the piece that is missing in a lot of fundraising and why our retention rates are so low, we're not paying attention to the follow up, we're not treating our donors with the love and care that they deserve, regardless of how much they are giving, now remember, these are monthly donors they're giving to you every single month. So even though that initial gift is lower, this is an investment in somebody that is investing in us and what they can give. And, you know, they may be testing you out as an organization to see how you treat them how you care for them over time, before they consider making a bigger gift. Maybe they appreciate the cause. And they love the work that you're doing. But they're just not quite sure yet if you're worthy, a bigger investment. So these monthly donors are your biggest fans, your biggest ambassadors, they are the best people to chat with. So we need to make sure that this follow up piece is happening. So critical to make sure before you even start, what is the follow up that happens as soon as somebody gives a gift? who on your team needs to be making phone calls? At what level? What does all of that look like? Put that in place and make sure everybody's aware of what happens because the minute you get that first donor, you want to make sure that these things are firing on all cylinders. Okay, so that is the first piece. I want you to get that in place before you start reaching out to folks. Now the second piece is messaging. So figuring out what your messaging is around the campaign, what is the impact that you're sharing? What are they going to be providing you are allowing your organization to do with these gifts. And I love with a monthly giving program, having levels that show that impact because it really makes it easy for people to walk up the ladder. Okay, I thought I was gonna give $10 a month. But now I see at $25 a month, I'm just like, quadrupling my impact, like, that's amazing. Like, that's worth it to me. So I'm gonna step up in that level. So being really clear about what that kind of impact can look like, and crafting that messaging that story. So you have it all pulled together. So you're ready to go, because that story is what's going to go on the website, which we're going to talk about here in a second. But it's also what you're going to use over and over and over again, in your emails in your marketing efforts, and your social media and your conversations with the board, right? We know that we need to share our messaging over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, before people are really going to step into hearing your message understanding and determining that this is the right cause for them to support that it's in alignment with what it is that they want to participate in. Excuse me. So I'm creating that story you create at one time. And now you know what impact statements you can go after client testimonials with donor testimonials, you can start to build more of that stuff over time. But we want to have that core messaging that core story in line and ready to go so that you know exactly what you're sharing. And what that impact is. This also goes along with the branding of the program, we always recommend naming it creating kind of the exclusivity, that VIP status. Maybe a quick little logo doesn't have to be anything fancy. But really branding these monthly donors, as this amazing group of people that collectively are really creating sustainability in your organization and making major impact. Okay, so once you have those things in place, now it's time to set your website up for success. So we've talked a lot on this podcast about your donation page, and we're talking all about donation pages in a few months. So you'll get a deep dive on best practices there. But for now, we want to make sure it's easy. Now, we're gonna I'm going to kind of talk about these next two things at the same time. But creating your promo calendar and understanding when and how you're going to market. This program is important, because that's going to dictate how and what is on your website.

So we've talked about making sure you're updating your headers on a regular basis. Could you be creating an announcement bar that is showcasing it? Should you make sure your donation page is only going to your monthly giving campaign? Or is it enough to just have your basic donation page having the monthly option highlighted? How and where do you highlight this monthly giving campaign and all of the perks and promotions that are going to go along with that however that makes sense for your organization? Are you writing blog posts that are talking about the different benefits and features that impact that you could continue to share over and over and over again with folks? All of those things are how your website is going to support you Where and when you publish, this is going to depend on your promotional calendar. So you probably have a couple of signature events that you've run that are large fundraising entities for you. Great. Make sure at that time, like all you're talking about is that fundraising event, now you might have a mid year appeal or a year end appeal. So you might want to decide, are we going to go after one time gifts for those? Or are we going to switch that strategy to really try to get as many people into our monthly donor campaign as possible? Are we going to do something that's a more traditional membership drive, you know, those are all decisions that you have to make within your organization and the way that you plan your fundraising. And again, remembering that this is a change in maybe what you do, and maybe a quote unquote, risk for some people in the organization. But we want to make sure that throughout the year, we are really giving people the least amount of options as possible.

So the monthly giving campaigns and programs that I know of that are most successful, really drive people to your monthly donor program all the time. That is their main fundraising, ask their main fundraising get. And they then are continuing to build relationships with those donors in order to move them up the levels of their monthly giving, and then also getting them to increase and maybe give an additional one time gift. But those are all happening in the background. And those are all happening with conversations with the development team and those donors, getting to know them getting to build those relationships. So it's up to you and how you want to do it, maybe you only have a season where you enroll people into your monthly membership program, there's perks, there's excitement, maybe there's an event around that, whatever. And then you do a spring appeal and you do a year end appeal. There's no right or wrong way. But you just want to make sure that you have your promotional plan in place, so that you're not grasping at straws, so that you know what it is that you're doing when you're doing it. And you can be the most effective and whatever those campaigns are. Because you might have different stories for your year end appeal than you're having that you're consistently sharing for your monthly giving campaign. Right, your monthly giving campaign is probably a much more evergreen messaging statement about the overall impact of your organization. Whereas your year end campaign or your spring appeal might be focused on a particular program or service that you're needing to raise additional funds for I don't know, you have to determine that for your organization. But the point here is determine it and put it down on paper and create a schedule. It's similar to any sort of product launch or any sort of program that a for profit might be putting out there. You want to make sure things aren't laying on top of each other so that when you are sending out those requests for donations, it's super clear. People know what action to take. And they they know, this is what I'm supposed to be doing right now. My heart says, Make your monthly giving campaign, your main driver because those donors are giving every single month you're creating raving fans. And I think that it's going to make the biggest impact for your organization over time.

So then going back to setting up your website for success, it's going to help you really understand how you change and edit the information that's on the website, the order with which it's received in order to hit the priorities for what you're doing. Hope that makes sense. And if it doesn't, you can reach out to me hello at the first click dotnet. I'm here for you to further explain and help you kind of work through the order with which you're going to be sharing this information, creating a timeline creating a promotional calendar. Again, everything is all about reverse engineering. What are our goals for these these quarters these months? How do we back into what we're doing in order to make sure that we're nurturing our donors, getting enough new donors doing the follow up and filling everything in so that we can hit those goals with success? Okay, so now that you've mapped out your promo calendar, you know your website is set up, you know that you've got the follow up. So as soon as somebody clicks donate on your website, or calls in and says I want to give a monthly contribution, you're good to go.

Time to start shouting out the information. And we're gonna do this in a lot of places. I already alluded to a few of them, but creating a blog post that talks a lot about the impact of your monthly program. Having a webpage that clearly details what it means to be a monthly giver to be a part of that exclusive club, how you're going to love on them and give them more inside looks behind the scenes and make them feel like the VIPs that they are. We're going to be blasting this all over social media you might be changing your social media banners to reflect this launch you're going to reach out to monthly doing to ask for testimonials so that you can share, it's a matter of sharing it over and over again, that because you already have the messaging done, you already have the impact statements, it doesn't mean you're not going to review them, but maybe review them on an annual basis, you have all the content that you need to continue to share. So now it's just a part of making it a regular rhythm. So we don't want to be saying on social media every week, hey, become a like join our monthly giving campaign or our monthly giving program. Here's what you get, like, that's not exciting. So we want to take that messaging and share those stories in a way that gets people excited, gets them feeling emotional, it gets them understanding that their impact can be felt even at $5 a month, even at $20 a month, right? This is a great way for people to enter into your organization participate and make impact because they're part of this big group of people. So sharing information on the regular like, Oh, my goodness, our monthly donors this month helped us, you know, with $25,000 this month into our organization like holy cow, now me as somebody who can't necessarily afford to give a large gift, but I love the organization can really feel like I'm part of something bigger, that's making a huge impact. And that's powerful. So you want to take all of those stories, make it personal, make it personal to the person that you're targeting, and have fun and share that crazy impact with your whole community. We're not just asking people to join, we're sharing what people have already done and saying, Hey, do you want to be a part of this too. So now it's part of building community and not just building donations. Again, remember what I said at the beginning, like it's all about, then you have those conversations.

So go back to the previous episodes in the podcast this month, and talk and listen to Patrick Kirby, specifically, last week talking about how to start to have those conversations, build those deeper relationships, and walk people up into larger gifts. So we're going to share it in our email newsletters, we're going to share it on social media, we're gonna share it on our website. And then my were my favorite tip. And we've talked about this, again, a lot. This is like bringing a whole lot of things for this podcast that we talked about all the time together, we're going to create a promo kit. So this, there's two different promo kits that I want you to think about. So one is your general promo kit. And that is something that you can share with board members with volunteers with you know, anybody and everybody who wants to help shout out what you're doing. And that's just going to include sample social media posts, graphics, sample emails, information about what the monthly giving program is, the different levels, what people get the impact, it's all going to be in one neat tidy document, I love just putting it in a Google Doc. So that people can easily share and part of your sharing it often and always is going to be at every board meeting, okay? Here's your goal, we want you to share this with 10 people in your network this month. And people in your network this month, you know, every month you're sharing it with 10 people. And here's the stuff to make it easy to do so. Right, it helps to really promote it on your behalf. Other people are talking about it. Bonus if the board members have all become monthly donors. I know a lot of nonprofit organizations have a give or get from their board, this is a great way to allow people to enter in at whatever amount they can, and still support your organization, be champions for your monthly giving program and help you reach out and get more people engaged. It's also a great way for board members who are uncomfortable making asks to make asks, because now you're asking people for a monthly contribution of you know, Hey, would you just do $5 a month? Or would you just do $10 A month is $120 a year. And that's you know, and much easier ask and again, we're building like a large community of donors. And then it's on you to have that conversation. So the board member already brought somebody in without having to make a huge ask or a big commitment. And then you can continue to do your amazing development work, nurturing, growing, building, yada, yada, yada. Okay, so that's the first one.

So the promo kit is going to help you allow those in your network to really broadcast and get the word out in a much bigger net. Now, the second promo kit that you might create are for some of your best donors. And by this I mean best monthly donors. So once this starts to kind of build and grow and multiply, it's creating unique graphics for your donors that has their picture your branding, and sample social posts that are like hey, you know, I'm a part of this monthly giving program for this organization, this is what I love it right, you can just give them prompts for how they should write it out. But you're giving them the graphics and the things and the ways to make them look like the hero. And so do this very easily in Canva Canva Pro, as of this recording, nonprofits get Canva Pro for free. So you can create these templates, all you have to do is pop in their headshot, send it over, it takes two seconds to update them for new people. And you can just set a threshold. So you can just say, hey, after somebody has given for six months, or a year, whatever makes sense for you and your organization, it kicks out in your CRM, like, hey, time to create an ambassador profile for this person, you can reach out to them and say, Hey, thank you so much for giving for the last six months, this is the impact you've made, we would we have created this amazing Ambassador icon for you, because we just so appreciate your gift. And in fact, you've helped us create, here's some sample social media copy, we'd love for you to share this on your social media channels. And then maybe they get another one a year and a half or two years or three years, right, you have different messages that go out. Over time, maybe the graphics look a little different. So you have a way to reach out and encourage all of those folks that are already giving to you, hey, like, here's a way you can really help us increase your impact like doesn't cost you any money, we've already got it all set up here ready to go for you, you just need to push it out. So it's those nurturing things that we want to do over time, these monthly donors are going to help you really broadcast and if you have 50 donors, and you have a few people every single month that are hitting those anniversaries, right, it doesn't take long to really amplify and ramp up the work that you're doing, and utilize the people that are there that want to support you, they probably want to do more, they just haven't been asked in a meaningful way. So this is a quick and easy meaningful way for you to reach out, say thank you. And then also get them to help amplify and talk about the program that you have.

Okay, so two different promo kits that you can work through. I'm going to run through everything that I just said, just to give you a quick less snippet, and then you can go back and listen, if you need a little bit more of a deep dive in each of these. I know we went through them very quick. I'll have show notes and more resources for you at https://thefirstclick.net/201. But here's the quick rundown. Okay, so number one, make sure you have the follow up ready to go. Whatever that is for your organization, there must be a follow up, I definitely recommend a welcome sequence. But please, please, please, do not, do not get away from the handwritten cards and the phone calls even though some people might be giving $5 Some people might give me $1,000 a month. Remember, these are your biggest fans. Number two, make sure your messaging is all pulled together, you have your stories, you have your impact levels, you have your giving levels, you're all good to go there, you know exactly how to talk to people about what the impact of this this program is. Number three, set up your website for success in alignment with number four, which is mapping out your promotional guidelines. So make sure you have everything ready to go when you launch and that you know when things need to kind of shift and move to hit all of your fundraising campaigns and efforts that you have on your calendar. And then finally, number four, share often and always that is on your behalf with your social media, your email, all of the things that you're doing, and also creating those promo kits so that you can have others share on your behalf, especially those monthly donors that already exist that are already raving fans.

Okay. So, monthly giving programs this month is a wrap. It's been a blast talking with you about all of these different options. I'm so grateful and thankful and hope that you have your monthly giving program in the works, I would love to see it and learn about it and see some of the fun perks that you're offering that are fun and creative. Again, email me hello at the first click.net I'd love to see them. And for now, make sure you subscribe. Wherever you listen to these podcasts. We have new episodes coming out on Tuesdays. I don't want you to miss out on them. And I'd love it if you would share this podcast with a friend. It's always more fun to work on these projects with a colleague or a friend or somebody that you can just bounce ideas off of. So I would really appreciate it if you would share this with another nonprofit professional that you think could use some support in their digital marketing. But for now, I appreciate you so much. Thank you for listening. I hope you have a great and wonderful day. Grab the show notes for this episode at https://thefirstclick.net/201 and I'll see you in the next one.

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