#FundraisingFriday - $10 > $1,000: When to Discuss Recurring Giving

Gabby Rockwell

December 2, 2022

$10 > $1,000

Yep, you read that right. I’m saying that a small donation is better than a big one. Mathematically, that’s wrong, but opportunistically, that’s correct. Now, hear me out.

If someone donates $1,000, that’s fantastic and very generous. That will make a big difference for any organization. I’m not knocking that gift at all. However, it is a one time gift. The donor thought of your organization and chose to donate, but they probably won’t donate again until next year, if they do at all, simply based on the amount.

When someone donates $10, it may not make the same impact right away, but it has a greater opportunity: the chance to convert them to a recurring donor.

Maybe that $10 donor doesn’t have $1,000 to donate all in one go, but they probably have $10 every month to spare. No, $10/month x 12 months/year does not equal $1,000, but it does equal an opportunity for them to make a larger impact than they initially realized they could based on their personal budget. That means you have the opportunity to have a conversation about becoming a recurring donor be it monthly, bimonthly, once a quarter, etc.

YOU can help them make a greater impact with their potentially limited monthly flexible spending. All you have to do, is give them a call, send them an email, and/or send them a hand written thank you note to share genuine gratitude for their donation.

Once someone sees that you value their $10 as much as a larger donation, they’re more open to continue supporting the mission and your organization. You have to help the donors understand that their small, monthly donation has huge value to your organization. People need a little conversation and recognition sometimes to make the leap to share monthly.

Once they make that leap though, you have someone who goes from thinking of your organization's mission once a year to multiple times a year. They may even spread the word to their friends which makes them an honest advocate for your organization which is something money can't buy. Plus, later on, you can talk to them about increasing that monthly donation to $15, $20, even $50 depending on their situation.

A conversation can lead to recurring which could build up to that big,$1,000 gift and it could provide you with a passionate advocate who draws in other donors, growing your donor database which is often difficult to do! Take the time to acknowledge the small gifts and the people who give them. Invite them to a flexible recurring donation program and create a financial habit with them of supporting your organization’s mission - make them feel valued and special. They'll likely become your biggest ally!

Originally from Upstate New York, Gabby Rockwell grew up in Girl Scouts with her troop meeting weekly in a volunteer fire station and giving back to her local volunteer department. From a young age, her passion was her community and the emergency responders that kept her town safe.

In New York, she pursued her Bachelors in International Relations, focusing on the impact that nonprofits have in making positive change on the world. Later moving to California to further her studies in State and Local Policy and Econometrics by getting her Masters in Public Policy, continuing to focus on how nonprofits can make a local difference through a combination of data analytics and marketing partnership opportunities.

She has worked in the community relations world of professional baseball and nonprofits, continuing to give back to emergency responders in local, statewide, and national capacities. From producing events, fundraising, marketing, and analyzing how to implement best strategies for increased donations, Gabby has a broad experience in the fundraising world of supporting emergency responders.

Now based in San Diego, Gabby is the Director of Social Media Marketing at NEP Services. She continues to spend her time giving back to emergency responders - both professionally and in her free time with her son. She's proud to merge her nonprofit and analytics backgrounds into one role to give back to those who give their all for us day in and day out.