I love fashion. And I love fundraising.

Every new year, I look forward to the latest trends in both.

And while I’m not yet ready to predict the “it” color or accessory for the year, I am ready to say sustainers are in for 2016.

Fundraisers know that monthly donors have always been chic. But too often monthly donors get overlooked in the rush to hit immediate revenue targets. It’s like overlooking that little black dress that goes with everything and choosing some “flash in the pan” fashion trend (I’m talking about you “wide-legged, high-waisted, crop pant.”)

So this year, make a resolution to focus on the basics.

  • Upgrade donors to your monthly program. Test a monthly donor pop up after someone makes a one-time online gift. Test monthly donor phone solicitations of new donors. Make these upgrades routine.
  • Ask your monthly donors what kinds of communications and information matter to them.
  • Meet those expectations. Send them what they want.
  • Track your retention rates. If folks aren’t sticking around, ask them why. Send a quick survey or call them up.

Monthly donors will always be in.