Drink Your Own Kool-Aid…Start Monthly Giving to Your Own Nonprofit

Blog post by Erica Waasdorp

Monthly Giving

This past week I heard this expression several times, so I wanted to explain why it’s especially important when it comes to monthly giving.

Let me start with the Wikipedia definition: “Drinking the Kool-Aid” is an expression commonly used in the United States that refers to a person who believes in a possibly doomed or dangerous idea because of perceived potential high rewards.”

If your boss or board still thinks that monthly giving is ‘doomed or not worth the time’, think again!

If you’ve taken any webinars or read the blogs and you looked at the latest statistics, you know differently, right? You’re a smart fundraiser and you’re focused on donor retention and sustainable revenue for your nonprofit.

So, here are three ways you can counter a hedging boss or board and let them know it is absolutely worthwhile to focus on monthly giving!

Drink Your Own Kool-Aid: Become a Monthly Giver

Become a monthly donor yourself. (And by all means, if you can, consider joining some other programs so you can see what they’re doing and how you’re being treated).

Then invite those whom you think are low hanging fruit. Your colleagues, your volunteers, other board members. How can you ask anybody else to commit to monthly giving if you’re not committing yourself?

Start Sharing Your Numbers. Annualize Your Monthly Giving.

How many monthly donors do YOU have now and what’s their average monthly gift?

Monthly donors right now give $35 a month on average. That’s $425 a year! That’s a powerful statistic isn’t it?  It does of course differ by type of organization, so you may see lower or higher monthly giving, so let me ask you to answer this question so you can create the starting benchmark:

How many monthly donors do YOU have now and what’s their average monthly gift?

  • Then ANNUALIZE that amount.  (Take the number of monthly donors * the monthly gift *12).
  • Write down the number, the amount and today’s date.

Regardless of where you are now, I can guarantee you that the only way you have to go is UP.


Take a Look at Your Online Giving Tools and Put Your Monthly Giving Program Front and Center.

I created the #MonthlyDonorMonday for a reason. Even if you spend an hour every Monday, you can make a lot happen with just a little bit of time. No matter which platform for giving or donor base your nonprofit has, it should be able to handle monthly gifts.  

Here are a few tips a nonprofit organization of any size can implement that cost nothing, but a bit of time. It will help you grow your monthly giving program, just by chipping away at it:

  1. Create a special monthly giving payment page.  (No reference to one-time gifts).
  2. Then direct the donor to go there.  Repeat. Keep directing your donors to go there. Repeat.
  3. Ask your nonprofits monthly donors for a quote. Why are they giving monthly? If you’re the first monthly donor, it’s okay then use your testimonial, just use your first name only.
  4. Include that quote in your email newsletter, and on your nonprofit website.
  5. Include a reference to monthly giving in the P.S. in your email. Link to your nonprofits monthly only page.
  6. Send a monthly giving ask via email. Include the quote. Link to your monthly giving page.
  7. Add the “Make this a monthly gift” to your appeal reply form.

What’s there to loose?

Be not afraid to try something. It’s only a little bit of time and virtually no extra expense. What’s the worst that can happen? You have to drink the Kool-aid, become a monthly donor and talk it up.

Then six months from now or a year from now, show your boss or board the numbers. Show them the money. Always Annualized! I guarantee you, they will be blown away.

Want to learn more about utilizing Monthly Giving for your nonprofit? Join me for How to Start your Monthly Giving Program – A Step by Step Guide” A Charity How To webinar to learn how to successfully execute a Monthly Giving program.

About The Author

Erica Waasdorp, President of A Direct Solution, lives and breathes direct response and fundraising and can be considered a Philanthropyholic. Building partnerships and trying to find the best solution for members and donors and thus clients’ needs are what Erica does best.

Her multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural experience are of added value to those clients interested in raising money internationally and her experience in monthly giving has given her an edge for those clients who are ready to embark on this way of giving.

Erica Waasdorp started A Direct Solution in December of 2003 with more than twenty years of experience in direct marketing, from both sides of the desk, on the client side and the agency side. She has since worked with numerous nonprofit clients on and off-Cape as well as internationally.

Click here to view all webinars from Erica Waasdorp