There’s a common misconception that non-profits don’t make any money.
But if you operate, work for or volunteer with a non-profit, you know that this couldn’t be any farther from the truth.
Non-profits need money to operate and serve their communities. Sometimes, non-profits need a lot of money to accomplish their goals or carry out their mission.
Often, non-profits rely on donations to meet their financial goals. But raising funds can be its own headache.
Recurring online giving is an ideal solution to round out your non-profit’s funding puzzle. Of course, it can’t wholly replace fundraising or the excitement of an annual pledge drive, but recurring giving can help to even out your non-profit’s budget from month-to-month, and even increase donations from year to year.
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Recurring online donations allow your donors to pledge a certain amount for monthly/quarterly/yearly giving in a way that’s similar to the pledge cards that you already use at conferences and event tables.
However, unlike with physical pledge cards, donors can fill out recurring online donation forms from the comfort of their own homes – or on their smartphones while they’re on the go.
Recurring online donation portals safely capture donor information and consistently withdraw the requested amount at preset intervals from the donor’s bank account, PayPal account or credit card.
Best of all, the information collected through a recurring online donation platform keeps information safely stored in one place – versus piles of pledge cards with information that must be manually entered. Additionally, the monies collected online all end up in a single location – your non-profit’s bank account (or other payment account) – without you ever having to lift a finger.
No Checkbook Necessary
When you’re representing your non-profit at a festival or event, you might have a hard time getting prospective donors to follow through. A common excuse might be that a donor forgot their checkbook or doesn’t have any cash on hand.
Or perhaps your church is having trouble getting Millennials to remember to bring a paper check for each week’s offering. (As a Millennial parent with young kids to get off to church every Sunday morning, I can testify to this challenge.)
For better or for worse, Millennials just don’t use checks.
But I can almost guarantee that the Millennial who forgot to stick a check into her wallet didn’t forget to stash her smartphone into a pocket or purse.
If you want to increase your donations, make it as easy as humanly possible for your prospective donors to donate. It’s really that simple.
Payments are shifting away from physical point-of-sale style purchases and are increasingly online. Sure, older donors and those with envelope-system spending habits might not want to donate online. But many of your donors will.
Instead of relying on physical payments, let your prospective donors opt into payment through an app that connects with your donation portal or a secure web address that lets them pay online.
Forget About Forgotten Pledges
Another challenge in collecting recurring contributions can be those contributors who forget their share from time to time (or worse, habitually). If your budget is based off of pledge card numbers, then those pledgers need to contribute in order for your non-profit to reach its budget goals.
This is where recurring online giving really shines. Instead of bugging donors from month to month or chasing down bounced checks mailed to HQ, your online giving program simply takes the pledged money, without bothering you and your donors with the details.
When people pledge to donate to your cause, they do so because they believe in what you do and want to support your cause financially. It’s not rude or inappropriate to expect them to follow through with their pledges from month to month.
And the less effort that donors need to make to fulfill their pledged contributions, the better.
Plugins to Make Your Transition to Recurring Online Giving a Breeze
If you’re interested in adding recurring online donations to your non-profit’s website, here are some plugins that will make your WordPress site a fully functional donation portal.
Give is currently our favorite and top recommendation for recurring online giving plugins. Give itself free and easy to use, once you install on your non-profit’s website. (But keep in mind that you’ll need to pay for the recurring donation functionality and a small fee to a payment processor for each transaction).
In addition to intuitive, slick giving features for your contributors, Give also provides you with comprehensive reporting tools that let you measure your donations and see how they add up from month to month.
You can also let donors designate donations for certain causes (such as in memory of a loved one), and pay via credit card, PayPal or whatever EFT works best for them.
PayPal Donate Button
Most online users are familiar with PayPal, which can make the PayPal Donate Button a natural addition to your non-profit’s website. Prospective donors will see the PayPal button and know exactly what to do with it.
If you already use PayPal, this might be a logical addition to your non-profit’s website. There are some drawbacks and limitations, so if you’re looking for a plugin that does recurring online giving and also gives you pertinent metrics, you may want to choose another.
Donorbox is a Stripe payment processing plugin that allows your non-profit to accept online donations. As with the other plugins mentioned, Donorbox can easily accommodate recurring donations.
It offers reporting tools and is customizable to reflect your theme and colors – a cohesive user experience gives donors instant trust in your brand and makes them more likely to donate – so that you can interact with donors (and their donations) online.
What are You Waiting For?
Recurring online donations are a simple way to improve your non-profit’s bottom line and to help donors become a regular part of the causes that they care about supporting. It’s a win-win!
Are you ready to capture recurring online donations for your non-profit?
If not, are the technological requirements of equipping your site holding you back?
Let us know! We love to help non-profits get the most out of their online presence, and we even offer a special discount for qualifying organizations!