Did you know recurring donations increased 23 percent in 2013? According to our “Double Donations by Empowering Your Supporters to Become Recurring Givers” eBook, repeat gifts are on the rise, as is the size per gift. Recurring alumni donors gave twice as much as first-time contributors, highlighting the growing importance of engaging with this key group. When joined with mobile fundraising, alumni giving recurring donations can be a winning combination. Look at it this way: If the average contribution in 2013 was $500, these returning donors will give $1,000 in 2014. The difference could make a significant impact on your organization.
How higher education can benefit from recurring alumni giving
Academic institutions often depend on former students and other benefactors for support. This is how universities sponsor research and develop new curriculum to offer high-quality education to current and prospective students. Many alumni look back on their time in college fondly and want to give back to the institution that opened up so many doors for them. These enthusiastic graduates may be the perfect candidates for alumni giving.
Colleges need to target loyal donors to encourage recurring gifts
Donor reactivation is one of the biggest challenges academic institutions need to overcome. Why not make it as easy as possible for alumni to opt in to recurring gifts? With mobile donations, it’s simple for alumni to setup recurring donations. Alumni can sign up with a few taps of their fingers in under a minute (see example below).
How can institutions maximize the potential of repeat gifts?
Implement a recurring giving strategy to double donations in 2014
There are a number of ways you can encourage recurring alumni donations and boost your overall fundraising efforts in the process. Here is an outline for the steps to take:
Outline a conversion goal:
Before getting started, determine how many of your 2013 alumni you want to convert to recurring givers in 2014. For example, you can aim to convert 25 percent.
Send mobile responsive donation links to alumni:
Even if you don’t have a fully mobile-optimized website, the donation page stands to gain the most from the increased use of smartphones. More than half of your website traffic may be coming from mobile devices, so it’s important to enable this type of fundraising from your donation page.
Schedule and deploy monthly mobile messages with links to videos:
This is a great way to share impact videos and messages with recurring donors, deepening alumni’s sense of connection and commitment.
Recognize recurring donors with special events, exclusive content and opportunities:
Recurring alumni donors will appreciate this personal touch. You can send recurring subscribers personalized shirts or empower them to fill a table at fundraising events.
Start planning your year-end campaign now:
Nearly every educational institution experiences higher donations around the holidays. In fact, 30 percent of all charitable giving occurs in December, with Dec. 31 seeing the highest number of gifts. With the right strategy in place, you can leverage this time to specifically target recurring donors. For example, you can create a gift-matching campaign for an end-of-the-year alumni giving push.