If you are searching for a sustainable model for your nonprofit, you may want to look at subscriber services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. The services of two of the most successful companies in the world share one thing in common: a monthly payment program.

Why is a monthly payment plan such an important factor in the success of each of these services?

Robyn Rocondino, a direct response officer for City Harvest, explains the idea behind the model:

“A lot of donors are turning to the web. Because of that, it’s just easier to join,” she said. “We make sure monthly giving is a mainstay on our home page, in all general donation pages and email solicitations.” Rocondino added that they make a point to ensure the ability to give on the web is never more than two clicks away for a user.

With a ‘two-click’ signup process and automatic monthly billing, the sheer simplicity of monthly donations is more likely to appeal to donors; especially to consumers who are becoming increasingly accustomed to, and expect, monthly online billing, paperless statements, and a simple and seamless process.

Since monthly donations appeal to consumers, who are also donors, they are immeasurably more beneficial for nonprofits, providing a dependable source of revenue throughout the year and increasing engagement and donation rates. 

At any given point, Catholic Relief Services(CRS)  has about 300,000 active donors with about 10 to 15 percent of those being sustainers. That’s up from about 8 to 9 percent of donors about five years ago, “before we really started promoting it in the way we are now,” she said. 

During the past five years, the Footsteps in Faith program has grown from about 20,000 donors to more than 28,000. “The growth has really been the result of the level of investment and recruitment,” Anderson said. Monthly giving is the leading ask on the CRS “How To Donate” page, which was not the case several years ago. It had been buried under 12 giving options, she said.

If your nonprofit has not yet explored the world of monthly giving, maybe it’s time to give it a try. The method is not only attractive to potential and existing donors, it’s also cost effective and provides a more sustainable future for your organization. Furthermore, you will be able to count on a monthly donor’s committed donation, while achieving improved donor retention and greater engagement, as donors realize how simple and painless the process is.

With that in mind, why not create a dedicated monthly giving page on your site? If you already have one, but you’ve tucked it away somewhere on your site, place it front and center and see what happens. Drive traffic to the special page from a website banner, online advertising, email campaigns, and social media. All efforts will help boost engagement and encourage people to become a monthly giver.