Monthly Giving: The New Avocado Toast
Updated: Oct 6
As a millennial, I’ve heard it all about my generation. We’re lazy, entitled, love avocado toast, and are even killing everybody’s favorite restaurants.
Okay, I guess it’s not all wrong. I do love some good avocado toast.
Stereotypes aside, there’s no doubt that millennials are having a larger influence on our economy and society every day. In 2016, millennials became the largest generation in the workforce, and that trend isn’t slowing down. As the last of the millennials finish their education and begin their professional lives, their share of the workforce is only going to grow.
As millennials take on a larger role in business and society, disruption is happening at a rapid pace. Nonprofits aren’t immune from this! Media reports like to focus on technology, spending habits, and changing social views, but our sector is not insulated from these disruptions. Forward-thinking organizations need to prepare now for how millennials will make giving decisions in the years ahead.
Enter monthly giving.
A generation that is saddled with student debt, facing an ongoing housing crisis, and earns less than their parents has to be financially savvy. That makes this generation more likely to intensely scrutinize their monthly budgets and unlikely to make large annual gifts. Our organizations will miss those large year-end checks, but all is not lost.
A monthly gift allows virtually anyone to make a meaningful contribution to their favorite cause. A millennial struggling to pay their rent may not be able to justify writing a check over $100, but $10 a month? That’s barely the cost of Sunday brunch. It’s a gift that doesn’t create financial hardship and amplifies the positive feeling that comes with giving.
If your organization isn’t engaging millennials in a monthly giving program, now is the time to start. In 2018, 40% of millennials were already enrolled in at least one monthly giving program. As more organizations begin to incorporate monthly giving, that number is likely to rise. Those are your donors of the future, and you have a chance to get ahead of the competition and build lasting relationships with them. Even though there is a lack of nonprofit training resources to help with monthly giving, there is still help available in this area.
If you’re ready to take the plunge and launch a monthly giving program, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Stewardship still matters: Monthly gifts are dependable revenue for your organization, but that doesn’t mean you can forget the donor making them. Maintain regular contact with your monthly givers and let them know that they are a valued part of your organization.
Be ready when things go wrong: Cards decline, databases malfunction, and banking issues pop up. These are the downsides of a method of giving that offers the advantage of renewal rates over 80%. Make sure your development team is ready to reach out quickly when issues arise.
Ask for the upgrade: Don’t get complacent with monthly donors! After being active for a year, that donor may be ready for an upgrade. If you’ve been stewarding them correctly, make a call and see if they’re ready to do more. Monthly giving can be a pipeline to mid-level and major giving if it’s done correctly.
Monthly giving is a major change from the traditional annual giving model, but your organization needs to find ways to incorporate it. Your donors of the future are out there waiting for you!
Need help getting your monthly giving program off the ground? Let’s talk! Sit down with us at Team Kat & Mouse (avocado toast optional) and our fundraising consultants can help you put a strategy together.
Just in case this blog has made you hungry...Here are some of my favorite recipes for Avocado toast;
And, some suggestions in my home town;
Let’s get together...Ben@TeamKatandmouse.com