“$30 Per Month? But I Want to Give $1,000!”

Monthly Donors make a big impact for radio stations, but there are other donors who want to make a big impact, too. We’re just not asking in a language they understand.

Different. Really Different.

Monthly Donors are remarkably different from the rest of your donors. Monthly Donors often comprise 25% (or more) of the donor file—which means that other donorsmake up 75% of the file. Advocace’s recent custom donor research leads us to believe that Monthly Donors are typically:

  • More disciplined
  • More analytical
  • More principled
  • More likely to volunteer
  • More likely to consistently read their Bible
  • More likely to unswervingly pray

These are all great qualities, but we believe they show up in unusually high concentrations in Monthly Donors.

Periodic Donors (current donors who give less often than monthly) don’t speak ‘monthly-ese’.  When we ask Periodics to behave like Monthlies, we aren’t speaking their language.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

So how do we engage up to 75% of your donors who are Periodics?  We connect with them on a real-life level. From Advocace research, Periodic Donors appear to have these traits:

  • More emotional
  • More responsive
  • More spontaneous (this could be a big consideration)
  • Intend to volunteer, but don’t follow through
  • Reads their Bible less often than they would like
  • Pray upon hearing the need, but seldom remembers to write it down

Periodics appear to be more interested in giving a one-time large gift than pledging a series of gifts that require disciplined commitment. Periodics want to be a hero.

Make Different Work for You

Our current research is showing us that donor communications plans need to:

  • Identify different donor behaviors (Monthlies and Periodics)
  • Segment your file so that Periodics receive different appeals than Monthlies
  • Offer appropriate appeals and gift ranges
  • Schedule offers for Periodics during pledge drives that differ from the offer for Monthlies
  • Research your donors to understand their motivations and preferred giving behaviors (contact meto talk about donor research)
  • Direct donor communication planners and writers to grow giving with both types of behaviors (If you don’t have a donor communications plan, get one.)

Advocace continues to research ways to engage more Monthly and Periodic Donors. Our donor communications planners and writers experiment and calibrate ways to create a greater bond between ministries and their donors.


Paul Martin founded Advocace to help Christian ministries and non-profits achieve their vision. In early 2019 Advocace joined Dickerson, Bakker & Associates to grow the impact of even more ministries.

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