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How Can I Get More Monthly Donors Without a Big Budget?


Christiana Stergiou, Fundraisingologist with Moceanic, and Harvey McKinnon, Harvey McKinnon Associates tackle an important question from blog reader Bec:

How can I get more monthly givers without a big budget?

You’ll find the answers remarkably helpful. Because a big budget is not the most important key to getting those important monthly donors!

Please share your thoughts by leaving your reply below. We’d love to learn from your experience.


  • Jeff Brooks

    Jeff Brooks is a Fundraisingologist at Moceanic. He has more than 30 years of experience in fundraising, and has worked as a writer and creative director on behalf of top nonprofits around the world, including CARE, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Feeding America, and many others.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Donald Hellyer
    May 7, 2018 6:26 pm

    How much do we thing obtaining a regular giver costs? What is our DAC “Donor acquisition cost” $400?

    • Sean Triner
      May 9, 2018 6:26 pm

      Monthly giving cost per acquisition will vary by several factors:
      * Country
      * Saturation
      * Channel
      * Type of cause (puppy, overseas aid, environmental, medical etc)
      * Value of gift (often associated with products like Child Sponsorship)
      The more mature monthly giving is, the more expensive it will be. AU$300 (about US$260) is kind of normal for a $25 a month donor from face to face in Australia. But our wages are high. It may cost AU$500 for a similar donor through direct mail & phone. BUT the latter donor will be worth more over 5 years because of better retention.
      So, to adjust for your market and conditions instead of just looking at CPA look five-year return on invest, including initial costs, one off-gifts raised when acquiring the monthly donor (from other, failed-sale, donors), value, attrition and a little bit for maintenance costs. You are looking for 2.0 at least. 1.4 is about what you would expect leaving the money in investments.
      For many, 4.0 or 5.0 will be possible on low volumes of donors.
      Another way is to look at how long it takes to recover your costs. I would make sure we expect to cover costs within 2 years at least. In newer monthly giving markets, it could be just 9 months for lower volumes.
      The cheapest, decent volume monthly givers come from converting disaster donors. That doesn’t help most of us though!


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