3 Asks to a Success Individual Giving Program

Posted by Ayanna Rutherford on 7.10.2021


Creating an individual donor program can have its challenges.  There are so many techniques to use to attract new donors and get your current donors to give more. Focusing on the three most important asks will help you create a robust and sustainable fundraising program for your organization.  

One-time gifts (New Donors)

One-time donations are great ways to engage new donors. When a donor gives you their first gift, they are entering into a relationship with your organization that needs to be cultivated, with the ultimate goal of making their contribution a recurring donation.

After the one-time gift is made your organization should send a thank you note that demonstrates the impact of their support. The note should also include other ways that this donor can get involved including volunteer opportunities as well as upcoming events and activities. 

For first time donors, it is also important to make a second ask within the first 90 days of receiving their gift so that they become lifetime donors.  If you can get new donors to contribute a second time in that 90-day window you can increase your donor retention rate to 60%.


While one-time donations open doors for new donors, recurring donations can be key to your organization’s sustainability.  In fact, recurring donors can be 4 times more valuable than a one-time donor to your organization’s fundraising efforts.    

Like everything else in fundraising, recurring donors are cultivated through asks.  That is why creating a recurring donation program is key to developing a sustainable fundraising model. 

One of the most important parts of creating a recurring program is to offer giving levels.  Giving levels assist in influencing donors to make contributions at various amounts.  When creating these programs, it is important to offer giving options beginning with small amounts like $5/month.  Larger monthly gifts are always great but smaller gifts helps establish relationships with new donors.  Starting with smaller levels also allows donors who may not be able to make large gifts participate in your giving programs.

Your recurring donation program should have 3-5 giving level options.  Those levels should also tie back to your program’s mission.  For example, if you have a program that is focused on sports your giving levels may be:

Junior Olympian= $5

Bronze Medalist = $11

Silver Medalist = $33

Gold Medalist = $50

As part of the giving levels, it can be helpful to tie the giving amounts back to how they impact your program.  For example, $5/month helps pay for tournament registration fees for one of your program’s participants and $33/month pays for transportation to the weekend tournaments.  Taking time to breakdown the value of the donation helps people understand the true impact of their support.   

Recurring donation programs makes all donors feel welcome because all donations are important no matter the size.      

Share with your network

Another important ask in fundraising is “Share with your friends”.  This ask helps organizations raise their profiles and attract new donors.  One of the major benefits of this ask is that it allows your supporters who may not be in a position to donate to your cause to bring in donations from their network.  Having supporters promote your cause to their networks lends credibility to your organization. 

Photo Credit: Paffy69

Topics: Donor Relationships, Partnership, Strategic Plan