Recurring Giving

What is recurring giving?

Recurring giving is when a donor elects to make a regular, ongoing donation to your organization instead of a one-time gift. Donors who give on a recurring basis are known as recurring donors. Donations that are given on a recurring basis are known as recurring donations or recurring gifts.

How do nonprofits benefit from recurring donations?

Based on data from nonprofits that use Kindful, recurring donors give five times more on average than donors who give one time, and the average recurring donor will give for more than two years. Nonprofits can capitalize on this in several ways:

First, recurring giving helps reduce the number of lapsed donors. This is because you only have to convert donors once as opposed to soliciting multiple, separate donations from one-time donors.

Communicating with your recurring donors also gives you another way to engage with your most passionate supporters and keep them updated on how you’re carrying out your mission. By sharing your nonprofit’s story, you’re increasing the likelihood that your donors will continue to be inspired by and support your work.

Recurring giving provides a reliable revenue stream for nonprofits, which can be especially beneficial in times when we’re not able to gather or throw in-person fundraising events. Having revenue you can count on helps ensure the sustainability of your nonprofit.

Finally, your team won’t have to spend time chasing down donors and repeatedly making appeals for one-time donations. With all of that time saved, they’ll be able to focus their efforts on other initiatives, giving you more bandwidth to carry out your mission.

How can it boost fundraising efforts?

In addition to providing your nonprofit with a sustainable revenue source, recurring giving creates a hassle-free experience for your donor.

By offering the option to make a recurring donation, you’re giving donors the power to support your nonprofit in a way that makes the most sense for them, saving them time from having to come back to your donation page every time they want to make a donation.

Also, donors might be able to give more throughout the year than they would if they were making a one-time donation. Don’t get discouraged if the donation amounts are relatively small—they add up quickly and may translate to more money donated overall!

Why is it important to retain donors and attract recurring donors?

As Classy shows in their infographic on recurring donations, the lifetime return of a recurring donor is higher than that of a one-time donor.

Here are just a few examples of how powerful a recurring donor program is:

  • 75% of donors will keep their plan in place across the first six months, and many continue to give for years
  • Within one year of signing up, recurring donors make additional one-time gifts 75% more often than one-time donors
  • The average one-time donation size is higher for donors with recurring plans

How can you accept recurring donations online?

Most online fundraising platforms like Kindful, Classy, and Qgiv give you the ability to collect recurring donations from your donors. Check your donation page settings to make sure you give this option to your donors.

You can also use various other platforms to collect recurring donations. For example, PayPal and Stripe are both payment processors that allow you to add a recurring gift option to your donation forms. Facebook also allows your supporters to make recurring gifts on their donations.

Recurring donations for Kindful Payments, Stripe, PayPal, & Square

Payment Processor Recurring Donation Feature Available with Kindful
Kindful Payments Yes Yes
Stripe Integration required Yes
PayPal Yes Yes
Square Yes Yes

Bottom line

It’s much easier to retain a donor than it is to attract a new donor, which means you have an extra incentive to keep the supporters who give to your nonprofit happy and engaged. The more recurring donors you attract, the more sustainable revenue your nonprofit will be able to count on during the year.