4imprint, LLC

| Updated: March 24, 2021

Did you know that in a single year, recurring donors give 42% more than one-time donors? Yet only 14% of nonprofits attempt to convert one-time donors into recurring donors. The fact is, recurring donations benefit nonprofits in several ways, including higher revenue, increased donor retention and decreased operating costs. Read on to discover how to help increase recurring donations by simplifying the donation process, making personal connections and offering nonprofit giveaways.


Make it easy for donors to make a recurring gift

One of the simplest ways to get more recurring donations is to simplify the process. To that end, your website should:

  • Be mobile-friendly.
  • Have a very easy-to-find “donate” button that takes them directly to a donations page. (Just making this button stand out from the rest of the page can lead to a 190% increase in donations!).
  • Make it easy to complete donor information.
  • Encourage every supporter making a one-time donation to choose a recurring option instead.

And remember to thank your donors. A nonprofit giveaway, like a magnetic calendar/notepad or a pen, can serve as a budget-friendly token of your appreciation.


Show them how you put their donation to work

Emphasize impact and show supporters how affordable their donation can be. For example, explain a $10 per month donation as:

  • A daily cost breakdown, like “33 cents per day.”
  • What their donation means to the community, like one hour of volunteer training for disaster relief or one month of breakfasts for a child.

Showing these breakdowns can help supporters feel more comfortable making a recurring donation.


Separate messages

Surprisingly, 38% of nonprofits use the same email strategies for recurring and non-recurring donors. This means that even someone donating monthly is getting the same ask as the person who has donated a single time.

Recurring donors need to know that you appreciate their donations, but don’t forget to show how those funds help your organization. While you can ask for an additional donation during an important emergency or special funding drive, the rest of the year, recurring donors should be on a different messaging track—one that tells them all the great work their donations support. You can also periodically thank them with nonprofit swag. Give them an insulated lunch bag with a personal note. Or send a calendar at the end of every year or a lapel pin on their anniversary of giving.


Get personal

Everyone loves the hearing their name—and seeing their name in print. Send emails with a name in the “From” field (instead of an organization) and a name in the “To” field (instead of just hello). This simple personalization can make people feel appreciated. It’s also been shown to increase donor trust. Direct forms of communication, like texting or calling to offer a short message of thanks, can make them feel less like contributors, and more like friends.


Giving thanks

Recurring gifts help you run your organization more effectively. With a simple donation setup, a lot of gratitude and nonprofit giveaways, you can encourage more supporters to become recurring donors. Good luck!