Land Lovers Program and Other Tips to Encourage Monthly Giving

Land Lovers Program and Other Tips to Encourage Monthly Giving


By David Allen, Development for Conservation


One of my current clients is the Bayou Land Conservancy in Houston. They have launched a well-branded monthly giving program called Land Lovers. For a pledged monthly donation of $15 or more, members get a couple of T-shirts and invitations to a suite of engagement opportunities.

The solicitation language is engaging and is accompanied by a list of current members.

I love it.


So it was with more-than-usual interest that I reviewed a newly released report from NextAfter, a for-profit consultancy that conducts non-profit research and releases the results for free. The report is called the Non-Profit Recurring Giving Benchmark Study.

The study documents a research effort that featured “secret donors” who made recurring donations to more than 100 different organizations and then documented their results.


I encourage you to review the entire report using the link above, but I can summarize here some of the findings I found the most interesting:

  • Recurring Donations deserve their own DONATE button. The researchers found that making a new case on a separate landing page resulted in better response rates. (The landing page is the webpage one goes to when they click on the DONATE button.) If someone is already giving you money, why should they increase their giving to monthly? Make the case.


  • Email (or better yet calls) from a real person to say thank you make a significant difference. Open rates for subsequent email increased by more than 28%.


  • Keep the landing page simple. Many landing pages are too complicated. Not being able to complete the form quickly results in donors escaping before completing it.


  • NextAfter found that donors appreciate EFT/ACH withdrawal and PayPal options in addition to the standard credit card options. (Bayou Land Conservancy does not offer these other options.) Actually, I’ll go even further – credit cards expire, creating a bookkeeping task of chasing down donors later. EFT/ACH and PayPal options are superior in that respect.


  • The NextAfter researchers found that most organizations don’t offer a post-donation call-to-action. Things like multiplying their giving through matching gift opportunities, invitations to small get-togethers (or field trips!), volunteer opportunities, and so on.


Consistent with this last point, I have read elsewhere that the best time to “convert” annual donors to monthly donors is within the six weeks or so following their renewal gift.


Lots of food for thought. Do you have a successful recurring gift program up and running? I’d love to hear about your experience.


Cheers, and have a great week.




Photo by courtesy of


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