Monthly Giving Does it Make Sense in South Asia?

I am writing this aboard the train, returning after my two back to back sessions on Monthly Giving at 20th South Asian Fundraising Workshop, Jaipur.

As expected there was a huge debate on why Monthly-Giving would not work in the developing world. Although my cause was much helped by fundraising guru Tony Elisher in his master class and plenary session, where he emphasized the importance of monthly and committed giving.

At times, I get a similar gasp of surprise from fundraisers in the West, when I share that NGOs in the region raise one time donations through Face to Face fundraising.

In short there appear to be contrasting positions that may take some time to move. I have seen monthly giving working in Japan, South East Asia, so for sure it works in Asia. It is also working in India for organisations like GreenPeace and UNICEF.

The other non-profits seem to be quiet happy with one time donations. The reason being that in India a one time donation is usually acquired at an ROI of 2. This means if you spend a dollar on acquiring a donor you get two dollars back immediately. This is good, but the question to ask is about one time donor retention. I have still to see more than 30-35% retention of donors in the second year in the region. At the same time the monthly donors may take at least 3-4 years to drop down to that level of attrition. Which clearly means a higher long term value.

I am sure in the years to come this would change. I feel so happy to see a big change already in the general attitude towards fundraising from individual, compared to workshops I attended 3-4 years before.

By the by I promised the delegates that I would upload my presentation here. The same is available below for download and free circulation.


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