Does your website make it easy to give monthly?

by Harvey McKinnon on February 14th, 2022


What happens when someone visits your nonprofit’s website?

Can they easily donate monthly, or are they forced to search around for the option? Perhaps you’ve yet to incorporate monthly giving in to your website – in which case now is the time!

Website design can play a key role in advancing your organization’s monthly giving goals. And whether you have a monthly giving option provided already or not, we have some recommendations that can really help you convert these valuable donors.

In this chapter taken from my latest book “How to Create Lifelong Donors Through Monthly Giving“, I outline how subtle changes can lead to significant results.


Chapter 19: How to incorporate monthly giving into your website

A good web donation page is key to acquiring new monthlies. You need a site that’s easy to navigate and gives monthly giving prominence. And of course, a compelling reason to join is key.

Here’s an example of a web donation page created by the BCSPCA which worked well for them:

The page is simple: a dog staring directly at you (our canine friends have evolved to emotionally connect with humans, and their power is in their eyes).

The dog in the photo has power. It’s pleading “please help me.” Or perhaps “I’ll love you if you give me a chance”.

It’s a great donation form because it’s fast and easy to complete. Two or three clicks and you choose a monthly amount, provide your personal details, and just may become a donor for life.

Shoni Field, BCSPCA’S fundraiser, says their monthly giving program has a 94% retention rate, year over year. That means each sustainer is worth, on average, more than $3,000 over time.

It’s one of the reasons her organization has 18,000 sustainers in a province with just 1.8 million households.

The pertinent question for you to think about is: What happens when someone visits your website?

Is it easy to find information? Is making a gift effortless? Is it optimized for mobile, since many if not most visitors will use their phones? Do you even promote monthly giving?

Here are three quick tips on how to maximize monthly conversions on your website: 

  1. Make your monthly option more prominent on your donation page or pop-up. Explain why it’s extremely helpful to your work.
  2. Test the monthly ask as your default ask. This means visitors will need to change the highlighted box to make a single gift.
  3. For people who have chosen to make a single gift, add a pop-up box to the thank you/confirmation page, asking them to consider changing to a monthly gift.

You don’t have to feature a monthly ask on your homepage permanently. But presenting it occasionally is certainly worth a test.


Landing sites and prospect engagement

Most email and social media campaigns developed by professionals will avoid sending prospective donors to an organization’s home page. And for good reason.

When asking for money, the goal should always be to reduce distractions. And an organization’s website is typically full of distractions.

The solution?

Send donors and prospects directly to a donation page. The focus should be monthly giving, but you will want to test a single gift option as well.


The amount to ask for

The ideal request is specific:

  • $25 will fund an eye operation to restore a person’s sight.
  • $19 will provide food for an abandoned dog.

The Wounded Warrior screen shown below has two options for giving. The first image shows the gift string of $250 to $75 for a single gift. But when you click the monthly box, the options change to $19 to $30.

Wounded Warrior - One-time gift
Wounded Warrior Project, one-time gift web form


Another technique is a pop-up box that appears after someone has filled in their information to make a single gift, encouraging them to switch to monthly giving. In one experiment, researchers found a 64% increase in recurring gifts and no decrease in overall one-time gifts using this strategy. Of course, there needs to be brief, persuasive copy in the pop-up to convince the donor to make their gift monthly.


Does your website have a monthly giving FAQ page?

In my book, 11 Questions Every Donor Asks, one overriding principle is that every unanswered question can lead to a possible “no” decision by the donor.

Your goal is to reduce barriers, and every question you answer, in person, in print, or on your website, leads you closer to donors saying “yes.”

For example, some might have a question about credit card security, or may want to know the date their gift will be processed each month, or if they can later cancel their donation (see accompanying page for a sample FAQ).

When you do a FAQ, keep your answers short and offer a phone number and ideally a person’s name so that potential sustainers can call with their questions.

ACLU Monthly Giving FAQ:

Whether you’re a monthly giving veteran, or setting up a program for the first time, HMA is here to help. Our fundraising experts can assist your organiziation in optimizing your monthly donor strategies and bring in valuable “lifelong donors” who will likely give continuously for many years to come.

If you’d like to discuss your monthly giving options with us, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-815-8565 or send an email


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