How to Convert One-Time Donors to Monthly Donors

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by Matt Scott

This piece is written by Matt Scott—the Chief Executive Officer at CauseMic.

Once you have a monthly giving program in place, there are two broad approaches you can take to promote it. The first approach is to passively promote your program. This raises your monthly giving program awareness without a direct call to action to join the program. The second approach is to actively promote it—this method uses a clear call to action to join your monthly giving program.

The first approach, passive promotion, can improve the effectiveness of the second approach, active promotion, with respect to the conversion rate of one-time donors to monthly donors. When your program name and purpose is repeated across multiple channels, it helps raise overall awareness. That brand awareness, coupled with a compelling ask and powerful storytelling, can convert a one-time donor into a monthly donor.

Below, we review how to execute each approach and marry your efforts to drive conversions.

How to Passively Plug Your Monthly Giving Program

Passive promotion of your monthly giving program is about driving program awareness. Even if a one-time donor doesn’t convert from your passive “asks,” they’re more likely to recognize the program once you present them with a clear, active call to action to join the program down the road.

So what does a passive plug for your monthly giving program look like? It’s visual cues and program mentions that do not include a call to action. The following examples work well as singular adds, but are strengthened when used all together:

  • A monthly giving button on your website’s navigation bar
  • A monthly giving program link in the signature of staff emails
  • A monthly giving program button in the footer of supporter emails
  • A permanent section of your e-newsletter dedicated to monthly giving
  • “Shout outs” or recognition posts of existing monthly donors on social media with link to program page
  • Social media graphics featuring quotes from existing monthly donors on why they give monthly

Buttons and links invite potential one-time donors to learn more, while the recognition of existing monthly program members increases the awareness of your monthly giving program brand.

There’s no exact science when it comes to passive promotion, so get creative about where and how you can create small little plugs for your monthly giving program. The aim is to build awareness over time.

How to Actively Promote Your Monthly Giving Program

Active promotion is where you capitalize on the passive program awareness to convert one-time donors into monthly donors.

Active promotion of your monthly giving program means presenting strong and clear calls to action to “join” your monthly giving program. Again, this can be any one avenue or all of the following avenues:

  • A persuasive monthly giving website page
  • A time-based monthly giving campaign
  • Social media posts asking followers to join your monthly giving program
  • A new donor welcome email series encouraging monthly giving

Emphasize the benefits of your community and the power of a donor’s impact in your call to action messaging by driving supporters to your program website page or directly to your monthly giving donation form.

To grow your monthly giving program, you need more than a “set it and forget it” initiative. Prioritize passive AND active promotion year-round to build awareness and grow your program.

CauseMic has a wealth of experience in supporting and building monthly giving programs, including those for clients such as Movember, Tusk USA, Walk With Sally, and Team Rubicon Australia, among others. For strategic help developing, launching, and managing your monthly giving program, get in touch at

Look out for our next blog on Classy about how you can nurture your existing monthly donors and prep them for an increased monthly gift.

CauseMic is a digital cause marketing and fundraising agency specializing in helping Classy clients leverage technology to scale fundraising and supporter engagement.

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