Most education institutions receive their support from major gifts and pledged donations, but alumni can have considerable value as recurring donors.
It may take some effort for advancement departments to start a push for recurring gifts. But there are several reasons why it could prove worthwhile.
The simple math about recurring donors
Single donations can obviously vary in size, but most estimates for the median contribution schools are in the $250-range. On the other hand, the average recurring gift made to schools is estimated at around $30. The simple math shows that those recurring donations are more valuable to advancement departments over the course of a year and can be worth $110 more on average.
But beyond the immediate numbers, there are several extra benefits to both supporters and schools.
The benefits for alumni
From a pure cash flow standpoint, many of your alumni will find it easier to manage a $30 gift per month, compared to a $250 one-time outlay. Even though they spend more over the course of the year, they likely feel less financial impact.
Recurring gifts also create some more flexibility for donors. While most will keep their recurring gift commitment for quite some time, it helps them to know that they have more options. While a one-time gift is paid out upfront, a donor can always amend their scheduled gifts if required. On the other hand, they may also decide that after easily managing the $30 a month gift, that they can increase it to $40 and know that they are doing more to give back.
The benefits for schools
Colleges, universities and private schools have a lot to gain from converting alumni to recurring donors. Obviously, there is greater potential for long-term revenue with monthly contributions compared to single gifts. This can add up over the course of a year and has a chance to continue much longer. Given how often an alumnus donates sporadically and takes several years off, this is very important.
Plus, a recurring donor can certainly still give in other ways too. These are some of your school’s biggest supporters, making them great candidates for special campaigns or fundraising event invitations.
From an operational standpoint, recurring donors also help advancement departments with their long-term planning. They can help schools map out projects and more reliably estimate available funds.
Manage recurring donations and more with Causeview
Causeview Advancement brings complete donor management and gift processing to Salesforce’s Higher Education Data Architecture (HEDA). Together, you can connect your campus data for students with everything you need to build long-lasting, beneficial alumni relationships.
Causeview Advancement makes recurring gift management simple. You can allow alumni to setup their recurring gifts from integrated landing pages and forms, trust that payments will process and reconcile as scheduled, and easily make changes and updates to gifts whenever necessary. Interested to see it in action?