The monthly giving impact of… Giving Tuesday?


We’ve talked in our Sustainer Revolution white paper that much of the future growth in direct marketing fundraising will be from monthly giving.  But there are some times of the year that are seem bound up with one-time giving: end of year, Giving Tuesday, traditional mail membership drives.

But there’s some new data out from Giving Tuesday; there might be more sustaining opportunity than one might think.

First is from Classy, who published their Giving Tuesday results.  They found that this year donors made 261,000 one-time donations online and almost 20,000 monthly giving donations.

That doesn’t sound like a great case for monthly giving on Giving Tuesday except for two things.  First, there’s growth.  One-time giving grew 70% on Giving Tuesday; monthly giving grew 85%.  That’s consistent with not only Giving Tuesday trends, but over a decade of online giving — every year, monthly giving growth outpaces one-time giving growth.

Second, multiply 20,000 by 12.  It’s 240,000, only slightly short of the 261,000 one-time Giving Tuesday donations.  Now, that assumes 100% retention, ignores that monthly giving gifts are smaller on average than one-time gifts, and missing that there will be subsequent gifts from some one-time donors.  But it does serve as a reminder that the initial number of gifts from a monthly gift are hardly the only important part.

But, you say, you don’t want to sacrifice the one-time gifts that come from Giving Tuesday when people may be thinking one-time gifts.  You can adopt the tactics of several Moore clients — shadowboxing your site for monthly giving… after someone has made a one-time gift.  That way, you don’t lose your one-time gift, but you still give a person the opportunity to upgrade their giving to monthly status.

That’s not the only opportunity for an upgrade.  Chances are, you already have a welcome series for new donors.  But during December, you are probably using different messaging for your fundraising than usual; perhaps you want to be using different messaging for your new Giving Tuesday donors to match the season.

Finally, there’s a Giving Tuesday consideration beyond getting the gift for monthly donors.  Steven Shattuck of Bloomerang tested monthly giving systems by making 10 of them, then seeing how these organizations responded to him on Giving Tuesday.  Turns out, only two of them asked for a Giving Tuesday; only one recognized him as a monthly donor. 

Giving Tuesday isn’t just for getting gifts — it can also be for showing monthly donors that you know who they are and that you care.  It takes only slightly more effort to recognize someone as a monthly donor than it does to suppress them from email, since you are doing the segmentation anyway.  So even as you think about one-time giving focused efforts like Giving Tuesday, spare a thought for your monthly donors, how to get them, and how to care for them.

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