The key to transforming your monthly donor programs

For many not-for-profit fundraisers, new donor acquisition has been the primary focus of their monthly donor program. As most of us in the space know, it takes a lot of money to land a new donor, especially one that’s going to give on a regular basis. But new evidence from our JAM Collective first cohort is shedding new light on how to dramatically unlock the potential of monthly giving programs – and it might surprise you.

In our recent webinar, Monthly Donor Masterclass, one that we re-shared with our clients and friends after a standing-room only crowd at the Bridge Conference this year – an expert panel from ST, Alzheimer Society of Canada and Trillium Health Partners revealed some deep insights, which include the importance of:

• Testing monthly journey mapping
• Better understanding the need to keep and upgrade monthly donors, and
• Considering the value of a balanced approach to sustaining and attracting donors

Katherine Maddox, Direct and Lifecycle Marketing Manager at Trillium Health Partners Foundation shared some of the key learnings that are helping her organization fund what will become the largest hospital in Canada. In their door-to-door program, they implemented a bespoke multi-channel journey across telephone, SMS and email that reduced attrition by an impressive 11%. And for the year ahead, Katherine and her team look forward to developing and testing new onboarding and stewardship journeys, trial and expand other face-to-face programs, as well as implementing insights learned from ongoing mystery shopping.

Stephanie Blackmore, Manager of Monthly Giving at Alzheimer Society of Canada (ASC) shared they have a robust direct mail program with an 85% retention rate across their annual renewal direct mail program. She also said that there was key learning around better onboarding of monthly donors by pausing organizational communications during their welcome series. Looking ahead, Stephanie is eager to find ways to continue to make the ASC team more agile and testing ways to upgrade donors with the JAM Collective, as well as test annual recurring donations.

JAM Collective: Making the most of monthlies

ST’s Jessica Tiberio shared insights on the simple math of monthly giving and how, by increasing retention rates and upgrading existing donors, organizations can significantly boost their revenue and make the most of the significant investment already made in acquiring monthly donors.

It was this insight that inspired ST to create the JAM Collective, which stands for Just About Monthlies. The initiative aims to create thought leadership and benchmarking data around monthly/sustainer donors and bring together organizations from the United States and Canada to collaborate and improve their monthly donor programs using donor journey mapping, benchmarking reports, A/B testing, and quarterly KPI roundtables. (You can learn more about JAM Collective here.)


Let’s keep the conversation going.

We hope you enjoyed this timely and informative webinar. And we invite you to re-watch it — or watch for the first time.

If you’d like to learn more about how ST can help improve and support your monthly giving efforts, contact Lisette Gelinas, on the ST Strategic Solutions Team.

Lisette Gelinas

Lisette Gelinas

In her role at Stephen Thomas, Lisette delivers marketing and communications solutions that drive measurable results, across traditional, digital and social channels. She brings to the table a fierce combination of CRM and brand building expertise, leadership qualities that can pull together any team to produce outstanding results, and marketing plans that work within very small or very large budgets.