Make It As Easy to Stop a Monthly Gift as It Should Be to Start One

Monthly giving is becoming more and more popular for a whole lot of reasons:

  • Donors can easily give larger amounts over a longer period than they might be able to simple-shouldnt-be-hard-if-you-justin one fell swoop
  • Monthly gifts help to level revenue streams, something that is particularly important for smaller nonprofits
  • Renewals are pretty much automatic; indeed, in most cases, donors must do something to stop the giving rather than doing something to continue it.

And therein can lie the rub.

From time to time a donor may want or need to put a stop to a monthly gift.  But doing so is often really hard.  And while that might seem like a smart strategy—why make it easy to stop supporting our organization?—you may very well be shooting yourself in the foot.

There are all sorts of reasons people want to stop their gift:

  • They lost their job
  • Expenses have suddenly increased
  • They are unhappy with you
  • They are not feeling any joy in supporting you

While you can’t do much about the first two, the second two should give you a lot of food for thought.  What is it that makes them unhappy?  What can you do to reignite their joy?

If stopping my gift starts becoming an exercise in futility—if I am having a hard time figuring out how to stop the automatic giving—my annoyance will turn to irritation, my irritation to anger, and my quiet steaming to loud and often accusations against your organizations.

As everyone should know, when things go well we tend to tell 3-5 people about the experience.  But when something goes wrong, we tell the world.  And you want to world to hear good things about you.

So on your Donate page, provide information on how to stop a monthly gift. Make it as easy as giving the gift.  And when someone clicks on that particular button, make sure you have a mechanism to reach out—personally!—to them and find out if there is anything you could do to change their mind.


Janet Levine works with nonprofits, helping them to increase their fundraising capacity and go from mired to inspired.  Learn more at  While there, sign up for the newsletter and contact Janet for a free, 30-minute consultation.


About janetlevineconsulting

For over 20 years, Janet Levine has worked for and with nonprofit and educational organizations, helping to grow their advancement programs. Her consulting company, Janet Levine Consulting, serves a wide range of organizations from small, all-volunteer agencies to major national organizations. She regularly teaches courses in non-profit management, fundraising and grant development, both face-to-face and online at In addition to her nonprofit work, Janet brings years of experience as a business and sales manager in the for-profit sector. She has an MBA from the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University.
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