We all know that the holidays are a time of gift-giving—with Black Friday and Cyber Monday being two of the busiest days of the year for both brick-and-mortar and online sales. But there’s another kind of giving that’s promoted during the holidays, one that doesn’t have anything to do with shopping.

The organizers behind GivingTuesday (conveniently scheduled the day after Cyber Monday) describe this day as, “a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world…” although they certainly don’t limit these goals to a single day of the year.

Created in 2012, GivingTuesday has inspired hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

This year, Cyber Monday set a new record, reaching $9.2 billion in sales. (And Recurly just published data on six key Cyber Monday metrics across more than 500 B2C subscription commerce businesses. See our analysis here.) This year, GivingTuesday raised $511 million online, up 28% from 2018. GivingTuesday’s dollar figure may never approach that of Cyber Monday, but there is one way in which the giving could be expanded and (no surprise here) it involves subscriptions.

While most non-profits can expect to receive the bulk of their donations during the holiday season, they run programs year-round, and a monthly giving program is a terrific way to expand their donor base—and their revenue. Other cadences are obviously an option—but the point is to make the gift recurring.

Because it’s imperative for nonprofits to find ways to make the biggest impact with their dollars while making it easy for donors to give generously and support the organization’s mission. In addition to providing predictable income, studies show that on average, a donor who sets up recurring donations gives significantly more per year than a donor who gives only one-time.

Additional benefits of setting up recurring donations are:

  • Increased revenue


    – through multiple smaller donations over time rather than a one-time large gift

  • Decreased operating costs


    – engaging existing donors is more cost-effective than recruiting new donors

  • Increased donor retention


    – recurring donations result in more active donors

  • Improved convenience to donors


    – most are already comfortable with a recurring purchase

  • Better relationships and more loyal donors


    – your communications can focus on results rather than solicitations

Of course, any non-profit seeking to create a recurring gift program will need to address the complexities involved in recurring billing. Recurly counts a number of non-profits amongst our customers, including The Denver Museum of Nature & Science, The Water Project, Dakota County Library Foundation, and the Young Entrepreneur Council. And, we give all our non-profit customers (501c’s) a 20% discount every month off their platform fee.