Oklahoma Bar Journal
Have You Considered Monthly Giving?
By Candice Pace
Donating to your favorite charity on a monthly, recurring basis, the giving method most popular among millennial donors, is now a mainstream giving option for nonprofit organizations. Studies show this isn’t just a trend but a very effective fundraising strategy that provides benefits to both the cause you support and you as the donor. Whether you already give monthly or have just been considering it, you should know how much more beneficial this method is than a one-time donation.
Here are the top three reasons for monthly giving:
1) CONVENIENT FOR YOU, THE DONOR!
Monthly giving is an easy and effective way for you to enhance your monetary impact on your favorite cause throughout the entire year. It’s easy to set up. Using a credit card or electronic funds transfer, donations are automatically withdrawn each month. Automatic payments made on a monthly basis are easier and more practical for the donor, and monthly donors report they can contribute more on an annual basis. In fact, “The average monthly online donation is $52 ($624 per year) compared to the average once a year gift of $128,” according to nonprofitsource.com.1 Monthly giving is a great way to increase your annual donation and your impact on a cause. The OBF offers a monthly giving option. Many OBF Trustees and Partners for Justice donate automatically on a monthly basis and have given positive feedback about this donation method.
2) HELPS THE NONPROFIT’S BUDGET AND PROTECTS GRANTEES AND CLIENTS
Monthly giving provides nonprofits with consistent information for making annual budget projections, while at the same time increases their revenue and cash flow. Due to the seasonal nature of giving, most nonprofits typically receive the bulk of their fundraising income during just a couple of months of the year. The OBF, for example, receives the largest amount of donations in December every year. Continuing, automatic monthly donations help the overall budget and make fundraising projections easier.
A robust monthly giving program provides stability for a nonprofit and its grantees in times of uncertainty or emergency. For example, the OBF’s major source of revenue, Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA), fluctuates greatly due to changes banks make in interest rates they pay. Also, unexpected events like the 2008 recession, COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters and cuts to state and federal funding make reliable sources of income even more important to meet unforeseen needs. A solid monthly giving program allows a nonprofit like the OBF to respond quickly and support its grantees during hard times.
Monthly giving is also more cost effective for nonprofits. It generally costs less to maintain a monthly donor than an annual donor. As a monthly donor, you can be assured that your donation is making a bigger impact by keeping overhead low.
3) INCREASES DONOR RETENTION AND SUSTAINS IMPACT
Studies have shown that monthly donors are much more likely to continue giving to a nonprofit than one-time donors. According to DonorPerfect, an online fundraising system, “Research shows that organizations who have monthly giving programs increase donor retention for those donors from 43 percent to 90 percent.”2 Other online fundraising systems report the same findings: Monthly giving almost doubles donor retention rates. This increases more sustainable funding year after year.
Additionally, “Recurring donors have the highest lifetime financial return, 42% above fundraisers and 440% above one-time donors,” as reported in The State of Modern Philanthropy.3 This makes a huge difference, especially when coupled with the fact that recurring giving programs are more cost effective than fundraisers and acquiring one-time donors. Monthly donations not only keep overhead low, they also make returns on investment high, allowing nonprofits to help more people in need.
As you can see, monthly giving is a great idea for nonprofits and their supporters to increase funding for critical, life-saving programs. Lawyers can easily set up monthly giving with the OBF and enhance the mission strategy to provide legal services, education and access to justice to all Oklahomans.
To sign up as an OBF Monthly Partner, visit www.okbarfoundation.org/monthly-giving.
Ms. Pace is OBF director of development & communications.
Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 93 Vol 3 (March 2022)