Returning vs. Recurring Giving: Which One Should You Focus on for More Contributions?

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There are two main ways to donate: returning and recurring giving. Returning donations are when you donate money to a cause and then stop after a certain amount of time. Recurring donations are when you regularly donate money to a cause.

The difference between the two is that returning donations is a one-time thing while recurring donations are an ongoing commitment. So, which one is better? It depends on your circumstances.

If you’re unsure whether you’ll be able to continue donating in the future, returning donations might be a better option for you. But if you know you can commit to donating regularly, then recurring donations are the way to go.

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Let’s get into the details…

What are Returning Donations?

When someone donates to a cause, they may be unable to continue donating monthly. In this case, they can return and contribute as they please.

When someone donates, their information is usually stored in a database. They are then sent an email or letter thanking them for their donation. Their names will also be added to a list of recurring donors, a group of people who have chosen to donate monthly.

If someone chooses to return their donation, their name is crossed off the recurring donor list, and they can no longer donate monthly.

What are Recurring Donations?

There are two main types of donations: recurring and returning.

A returning donation is a one-time donation made once and then finished. It’s a one-and-done kind of thing.

On the other hand, a recurring donation is set up to be repeated monthly or yearly. It’s like setting up a subscription to your favorite magazine or newspaper.

Which one is right for you depends on your personal preference and financial situation. If you’re unsure which is suitable, talk to your financial advisor for advice.

Why Is It Important to Know the Difference?


You need to know more about returning vs. recurring giving because it will greatly impact your nonprofit’s accounting and fundraising.

When a donor returns a donation, it’s considered revenue—even if the donor doesn’t request a refund. This is because the donation has been given to the nonprofit, and it’s up to the nonprofit to do what it wants.

However, when a donor makes a recurring donation, it’s considered an asset. This is because the donor is pledging to give a set amount each month, and the nonprofit can count on that money coming in.

One thing to remember is that the donor can cancel recurring donations at any time. So, if you’re counting on those donations to help you meet your budget, you must ensure you have a plan B in place.

How Can You Make Sure a Donation Has the Biggest Impact?

You want to ensure your donors realize their donation has the most significant impact, right? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Frequency: How often can they donate? Monthly, quarterly, or annually?
  • Amount: How much can they afford to donate each time?
  • Type of Donation: What kind of donation will have the most significant impact? Is it a one-time donation or a recurring donation?

Your website should have the proper functionality to receive donations on your website. With the right donation plugin for WordPress, you can offer your donors a better experience and make the process flawless. Also, you need to ensure that your site has

Returning vs. Recurring Giving: The Impact on the Lives of Those in Need


When you donate, you’re helping to change someone’s life for the better. But when you make a recurring donation, you’re doing even more than that.

With a recurring donation, you’re providing stability and consistency for those in need. You’re helping to create a sense of stability and hope for the future. And that’s so important, especially when things are tough.

Plus, when you make a recurring donation, you free up someone else’s time and energy. You’re allowing them to focus on things like getting back on their feet or helping others in need.

So, consider making a recurring donation to make a real difference in the world. It’s one of the simplest and most effective ways to help those who need it most.

What Are Some Things to Consider Before Making a Donation?

When donating to a nonprofit, there are a few things you need to consider before making a decision.

For one, you must consider the difference between returning and recurring donations. With returning donations, you donate once but agree to donate a set amount of money regularly. This can be helpful for nonprofits because it gives them a steady income stream.

Another thing to consider is how your donation will be used. Will it go toward general expenses, or will it be directed toward a specific cause? If you have a particular reason close to your heart, you may want to consider donating to a charity in that area.

Finally, you should always do research before donating to any organization. Ensure the charity is legitimate and they’re responsibly using your money.

What Are Some Other Ways to Help Those in Need?

Other ways to help those in need besides returning donations or making recurring donations. For example, you could volunteer your time or raise money for a good cause.

There are countless ways to make a difference in the world, and it all starts with deciding to get involved. So, in whatever way you decide to help, just know that your contributions will have a real impact.

Returning vs. Recurring Giving: The Verdict!

There are two main ways to donate: recurring and returning. However, you need to offer both options on your donation website or choose the one that best suits your cause.

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