Planning for Success: What is a Monthly Giving Program?

Donor Acquisition and Retention

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As 2020 taught us, times of economic stress create uncertainty for everyone, including nonprofits. That’s why recurring donations are so important: they create stable donation streams for sustained fundraising. But while some donors are happy to give monthly for an unspecified length of time, others prefer more structured giving. That’s where a monthly giving program can help!

With Qgiv’s giving plans feature, donors can set up “bite-sized” recurring donations with clear start and end dates. Your nonprofit can also use a monthly giving program to fundraise toward a specific project or goal. Or you can offer a way for donors to make custom plans that fit their own goals and comfort levels.  

In this post, you’ll learn what a monthly giving program is and how it differs from other recurring donation structures. Then, I’ll show you what a giving plan looks like on the Qgiv front-end. And I’ll share some best practices when setting up a giving plan.

What is a Monthly Giving Program?

A monthly giving program is a type of recurring donation in which you set a specific duration, frequency, and total donation amount. This gives your donors a way to contribute in smaller, less daunting chunks. Think of them like structured pledges!  

These giving plans can be customized with different amounts and giving frequencies. You can also link gifts to specific goals and initiatives to create impact statements for donors. Plus, you can show donors exactly how much they’ll end up giving over time.  

An annotated sample giving plan with colored boxes around various attributes.
This is an example of a giving plan on one of Qgiv’s donation forms.

Why Use Giving Plans?

Offering a way for donors to give on a recurring basis is important for creating a reliable and sustainable revenue stream. In fact, studies should that monthly donors give over 40% more in a year than one-time donors. But in uncertain economic times, some donors won’t be able to commit to giving every month unless there is a clear end date or goal set up for them.  

You can remove the uncertainty for your donors by telling them exactly how long their gift will last and how much they’ll end up giving over time. A donor may not feel comfortable giving $100 all at once. But if they see an option to give $10 per month for 10 months, they may stop and think, “Hm, I can definitely do that!” Offering giving plans lessens the immediate financial impact on donors and thus makes giving feel much more manageable!  

Also, it’s easy to connect giving plans to specific initiatives so donors know exactly where their gift is going. Our Generational Giving Report found that recognizing individual donations and providing impact updates both make donors more likely to give again.

Qgiv offers an easy way to thank donors for giving to specific funds or initiatives by using conditional content blocks in receipts. You can also set up custom mappings in Qgiv’s CRM and email integrations to help you provide tailored impact communication—it’s a great way to strengthen donor relationships and boost loyalty. 

Plus, with Qgiv’s giving plans, you can include a custom plan option, which essentially works like a traditional recurring gift structure. Donors select the amount they want to give in recurring monthly installments. This offers flexibility to meet donors’ needs.

Monthly Giving Programs in the Wild

Need some inspiration? Here are monthly giving program examples to help inspire you: 

Image of a donation form with four monthly giving program options. Each plan represents a type of "Membership" ranging in cost from $18.50 per month to $3333.34 per month.
2022 Special Olympics USA Games has a giving plan for each of their membership levels, offering a way for donors to spread out the cost of their membership over a year. 
Image of a donation form with two giving plan options for two different membership levels. The additional description for each membership explains the benefits of that membership level.
Daufuskie Community Farm also uses their plans for membership levels, and they’ve customized the plan details even further by including the perks of membership! 
Image of a donation form with three giving plan options. Each offers a way to pledge $5000 over 5 years: 60 monthly installments, 20 quarterly installments, or 5 annual installments.
Central Florida Speech and Hearing Center is using giving plans to encourage donors to pledge $5,000 over 5 years. They made this ambitious program more manageable by catering to donors’ abilities to give monthly, quarterly, or annually.  

And remember, with giving plans, donors can select the “Create Your Own Plan” option. That way, they can set up a traditional recurring gift that meets their needs.

Image of a donation form with one plan option of $500 per year and one custom option. There a dropdown to choose frequency and eight blocks for donation amount options. There are also boxes for start and end date.
Child and Family Service has customized the options even more by allowing donors to choose their own start and end dates. 

Closing

Recurring donors end up giving more regularly and in larger amounts than one-time donors. That’s why creating an approachable, sustainable recurring donation strategy is vital for any nonprofit. With Qgiv’s giving plans, you can offer your donors more clarity and focus in their recurring giving with an easier initial commitment.

For more on how to build a great monthly giving program, check out other posts:  

What’s Next?

If you’re already using Qgiv’s donation forms and want to learn more about setting up giving plans, you can contact our Customer Experience team for help: support@qgiv.com or 888.855.9595.  

See some of Qgiv’s other recurring features in action on these interactive forms!

If you’re ready to get started with Qgiv, get in touch to schedule a demo!

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