December 03, 2019

Now’s the Time to Convert Giving Tuesday Donors to Monthly ACH Donors


Michael W. Kahn

Michael W. Kahn


Did you finally clear out your inbox from Giving Tuesday? Congratulations. And if you helped a cause or two that’s near and dear to your heart, good on you! 

But now’s a great time to take the next step and help those charitable organizations make the most of Giving Tuesday. That means converting one-time donors into sustaining donors who give more frequently by ACH. 

Some experts in the field of giving believe the real benefit of Giving Tuesday comes after the holiday decorations are boxed up. Among them is Erica Waasdorp, founder and president of the fundraising consulting firm A Direct Solution, and author of “Monthly Giving. The Sleeping Giant.”

“I don’t think that Giving Tuesday is the right day to ask for monthly gifts. I think you’re better off getting one-time donations, and then sending a thank you email, or better yet a thank you email series aimed at converting one-time gifts to sustaining gifts,” said Waasdorp. The emails should explain that the organization is grateful for the gift, but also has many year-round needs.

Around late December or early January, she said, email them to explain that “your gift will go further if you give us a monthly gift through ACH.” 

That timeframe is important, because so many organizations appeal for help on Giving Tuesday that it’s “hard to stand out from the crowd,” said Waasdorp. “You literally get hundreds of emails in your inbox.”

With Giving Tuesday in the history books for 2019, now is the time to reach out to that cause you care about. Whether it’s the food pantry’s bookkeeper, the treasurer at the animal shelter, your fellow members of the charity’s board—show them why it’s worthwhile to encourage recurring donations via ACH. Convert those Giving Tuesday folks into sustainers.  

Be sure to point charity leaders toward Nacha’s website, which has a wealth of tools to help charities get ACH programs started, or to build those they already have. 

And if you think it’s too early for your favorite charities to start pondering the next Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1, 2020), Waasdorp begs to differ.

“You’ve got to start early,” she tells her nonprofit clients. That means making a “thanks for being a donor” push before Thanksgiving, and then being right out there the day after. 

“You’ve got to hit the ground running on Black Friday because people don’t go shopping anymore. They’re at the computer,” said Waasdorp. “What do you have to lose by doing so?”