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4 great examples of successful monthly sustainer tactics

With 45% of donors enrolled in a monthly giving program, sustaining gifts are on the rise. Nonprofits that want to take advantage of this growing area must make it easier for donors to give monthly.

You may remember my last blog where I covered a few tactics organizations can use to drive organic growth for their monthly sustainer programs. And while it’s great to talk about these tactics in theory, I wanted to show you a few of them in action.

In Part 2 of my monthly sustainer series, I share a few examples from our clients’ programs in hopes that it inspires you to make updates to yours!



Your website is a great place to add a sustaining ask. With a lightbox, that ask will be front and center as soon as donors visit your page.

Animal Rescue League of Iowa took it a step further by offering to double the first three gifts when donors joined their monthly sustainer group, the “Loyal Friends Club.” Not only does this put your monthly ask in a prominent place, but it also provides some pretty great incentives to give.

Monthly Donor Lightbox


Display and paid social are also great avenues to target monthly donors. In this example, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida used a similar tactic as above—matching monthly gifts for a limited time to increase a donor’s motivation to give:

Monthly Donor Social


Even if you don’t want to add new emails into your calendar, simply adding a P.S. with monthly gift asks at the bottom of your regularly scheduled emails can naturally increase sustaining conversions. Check out this email from Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina for an example of what this might look like for you:

monthly donor email

Direct mail

While direct mail may not be a primary driver for monthly giving, it’s a great channel to remind donors that monthly giving is an option. Testing simple things like callouts and checkboxes can help increase conversions.

In this example, Animal Rescue League of Iowa sent a specific sustaining appeal inviting donors to join their Loyal Friends Club:

monthly donor direct mail

Bonus: Direct mail retention

While this blog is focused on acquiring monthly donors, retention is just as critical. Here’s a little peek at what International Fellowship of Christians and Jews does to speak to monthly donors in their direct mail cultivation pieces:

monthly donor retention

Whether it’s digital or direct mail, a multichannel, always-on approach is the best way to acquire monthly donors year round. By making it easy for them to sign up and including a monthly ask wherever possible, you’ll begin to see a natural increase in your sustaining file.

Want more? Check out these additional resources on monthly donors:

Megan England

Megan has worked on direct response accounts for more than a decade in the nonprofit industry. As an account director and integrated strategist, she brings an effective combination of data-driven strategy development, strong communication skills and the ability to collaborate with all team members to ensure timely, cost-effective service implementation.

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