The Benefits of Recurring Gifts

Posted on 01/15/2017

If mortgage and car payments were due only once a year, a lot of people would have a hard time coming up with the full amount. If cable bills were paid only once a year, there would probably be far fewer television viewers. Banks and media companies understand that customers are more inclined to make big purchases when the payments can be broken up into small increments.

The same can be said in fundraising, which is why monthly giving can be so appealing. On one hand, it offers convenience for the donor. On the other hand, it can help charities increase retention rates and encourage upgrades. For example, rather than soliciting a $1,000 gift all at once, ask for $83.33 each month. Or, see if a current $1,000 donor will upgrade to $1,500 with monthly gifts of $125.

Franklin & Marshall College understands the value in monthly giving, and they have set up an entire webpage to prove it. Along with enrollment instructions, they address some frequently asked questions to help explain the benefits of monthly giving:

  • What is the Monthly Giving program? – The Monthly Giving program allows donors to easily make their gift to the Franklin & Marshall Fund in regular monthly installments from a credit card or checking/savings account.
  • How does the program help F&M? – Monthly contributions provide the College with an on-going, reliable source of funding. Gifts made through this program reduce our administrative costs and allow more of each gift to be used immediately to support Franklin & Marshall’s top priorities. Monthly gifts are also “greener” by cutting down on paper and gas and emissions produced by mailings.
  • How does the program help you? – Enrolling in the program means you won’t have to worry about writing and sending a check, and the number of phone and mail reminders you receive from the College will decrease. If you choose to allow deductions to continue from year to year, you will be counted among F&M’s most loyal and valued donors and be recognized for your participation in this program in the Annual Report of Gifts. Monthly Giving also allows you to make your yearly contribution at a leadership level because your gift is divided into manageable monthly increments.

To illustrate this clearly, the page also includes a chart (below) showing the monthly contribution required to join the annual fund leadership gift society at its various levels. Another chart on the page breaks down the monthly payment for alumni in each of the last ten graduating classes, who can join at discounted rates.

It’s important to encourage donors to think big about their donations. Raising sights is key to achieving goals and helping your programs to grow. At the same time, it’s important to make giving convenient for your donors. Recurring gifts can be a great way to make consistent giving manageable and leadership giving easy to swallow.



This article has been adapted from the book Ideas for Annual Giving by Dan Allenby. Copyright (c) 2016 Council for Advancement and Support of Education. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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