[NPFX Ep. 30] Why Monthly Giving Matters for Every Nonprofit Organization (with Melissa Rutan and Kathryn Baccash)

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Welcome to The Nonprofit Fundraising Exchange, a podcast from IPM Advancement. Our mission is to empower nonprofits to succeed so they can make the world a better place.

Today’s topic: Why Monthly Giving Matters for Every Nonprofit Organization

Sustaining donors are important to every nonprofit. Their recurring donations help provide financial stability and fund ongoing programs and services. For donors, monthly giving offers convenience and the satisfaction of knowing they’re supporting their favorite nonprofits all year long. In today’s podcast episode, we talk with the American Red Cross and To Write Love on Her Arms, organizations on both sides of the nonprofit budget spectrum, to illustrate how monthly giving can work for nonprofits of any size or budget.

We recommend visiting the monthly giving pages of both nonprofits featured in this episode. They serve as great examples of how to make the case for monthly giving:

Time-Stamped Episode Shortcuts:

  • Introductions [1:43]
  • How monthly donor programs can engage your community [5:14]
  • Asking one-time donors who respond to emergencies to make recurring gifts [6:30]
  • How genuine human connection can make supporters become monthly sustainers [8:43]
  • Monthly donors as early adopters for new ideas and initiatives [13:19]
  • Examples of sustainers supporting specific programs versus general support [14:59]
  • Starting a monthly giving program from scratch [19:02]
  • Framing monthly giving in terms of commitment to impact, not donation frequency [22:40]
  • What monthly donors really want from your nonprofit [24:50]
  • Systems and tips for boosting donor retention [27:45]
  • How to upgrade monthly donors and/or ask for additional gifts [31:37]
  • Monthly donors make good planned giving prospects [32:58]
  • Examples of making the case for support for monthly giving [34:38]
  • Launching your monthly giving program sooner rather than later [37:58]
  • Selling your board on the value of investing in a monthly giving program [39:17]
  • How to promote your monthly donor program [39:54]

Special Offer: Free 30-minute consultation for NPFX listeners

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Kathryn Baccash is the Director of Supporter Marketing + Development at To Write Love on Her Arms. She oversees how TWLOHA’s supporters connect with their mission through their store, annual campaigns, and year-round giving. She helps tell the stories of both the organization and those who support it as they work together to create space for honest conversations about mental health.

Melissa Rutan is the Senior Associate Consumer Marketing and Fundraising at American Red Cross. She's passionate about connecting people to causes and empowering them to be agents of change. Over the last 10 years, Melissa has strived to create ways financial donors can meaningfully support nonprofits through integrated back-end processes and special events. Melissa joined the American Red Cross in 2017 and is currently focused on driving monthly donor strategy, building upon one of the most valuable donor segments.


Rich Frazier has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 30 years. In his role as senior consultant with IPM Advancement, Rich offers extensive understanding and knowledge in major gifts program management, fund development, strategic planning, and board of directors development.

Russ Phaneuf, a co-founder of IPM Advancement, has a background in higher education development, with positions at the University of Hartford, Northern Arizona University, and Thunderbird School of Global Management. As IPM's managing director & chief strategist, Russ serves as lead fundraising strategist, award-winning content creator, and program analyst specializing in applied system dynamics.


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