What is a Recurring Giving Campaign?

Last Updated: Nov 27, 2018 02:51PM PST

A recurring giving campaign centers on building a base of supporters who give monthly. These campaigns can provide a consistent and reliable source of donations for your nonprofit.

In this article, we will give an introduction to recurring donation campaigns and how they work on Classy:

 

What is a Recurring Giving Campaign?

On Classy, a recurring giving campaign is any campaign where you encourage supporters to donate to your cause each month. The goal of these campaigns is to create a predictable source of revenue for your organization. 

In many ways, they are similar to a subscription, but instead of movies or meal kits, supporters subscribe to your cause and organization.  Recurring giving campaigns can be ongoing and year round, or time-bound around a specific goal.

The Benefits 

According to our data experts, recurring donors have the highest lifetime financial return, 42 percent above fundraisers and 440 percent above one-time donors. Many of these donors continue to give monthly for years which can lead to long-term returns for your nonprofit. To learn more, take a look at our handy infographic on the power of recurring donations.
 
Aside from the revenue boost, recurring programs are also more predictable. They provide a clear picture of how much your nonprofit can expect to receive which means less guesswork and time working to acquire one-time donors. 

When Should I Use Recurring Giving?

All the time! Every campaign type in Classy can offer supporters the option to make recurring donations, and we encourage you to enable the option on all of your campaigns. 

That said, crowdfunding campaigns and donation pages are recommended for campaigns where the main goal is to gain recurring donors. These two campaign types are a good choice because their main call to action is to Donate.

How Recurring Giving Works on Classy

The Basics 

Recurring giving on Classy is normally set up when you create a campaign. More specifically, you can give supporters the option to invest in monthly donations when you set up a Donation Page. ‚ÄčIf a supporter invests in monthly donations, their gift will be taken from their account each month on the day they made their initial donation. You can always change the day the donation is taken from their account.recurring donation settingsWhen you get to your Donation Settings in a Donation Page editor, you can choose to set up monthly donations. The dropdown offers 4 different ways to give recurring donation options:

  • Monthly Recurring Donation Pre-Selected - Supporters can choose to donate once or to invest in a monthly donation. The monthly option is pre-selected and they can specify the amount they give.

  • Monthly Recurring Donations Only - Supporters can only invest in a monthly donation, but they can still specify the amount they give.

  • Force a Specific Amount Monthly - Supporters can only invest in a monthly donation, and you set the specific amount they can give. (Like a standard membership)

  • One-time Donation Pre-Selected - Supporters can choose to donate once or to invest in a monthly donation and one-time donations are pre-selected. We do not recommend this option if your aim is to gain recurring donations.

Note: While we encourage you to enable the option to make a recurring gift on every campaign type, crowdfunding campaigns and donation pages are recommended for campaigns where the main goal is to gain recurring donors. Have a campaign with recurring settings you want to edit? Please view our setup guide

Optimization

If you give people the option to donate once or to invest in a monthly donation, you can use our recurring donation optimizer to encourage recurring donations.recurring donation optimizationIf you use the optimizer and a supporter chooses a one-time donation amount, a notification will appear to encourage monthly donations. If they click the Give Monthly link, their donation will switch to a monthly donation. The optimizer is not available if you only allow people to give monthly because it wouldn't be necessary.

Recurring Giving Campaign Management

You can manage a recurring giving campaign just like any other campaign on Classy. The Reports Tab allows you to measure the performance of your campaign—we have a glossary of recurring terminology that may help. From the Reports Tab, you can also find and edit the recurring donation plans of your supporters. To learn more, please view our guide

The key difference is that you will be receiving recurring donations which means you will need to keep your recurring donors engaged and invested in your cause. In that sense, reviewing a few best practices and examples for inspiration is a good first step.


If you have any questions, our Care Team would be happy to start a conversation. 

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