Donor Retention: The easiest money you’ll ever raise

There’s no doubt about it: donors are leaving organisations even quicker than they joined, and in vast numbers too. Last year, research by Target Analytics revealed that only 29% of first-time donors renewed their gifts – leaving the other 71% as missed opportunities. But when it comes down to it, getting your donors to renew their gift is the easiest money you’ll make. Why? Because these wonderful people have already given to you; they know your organisation; they like you; they understand your mission and they have already helped you to do good in the world. So how can you encourage more donors to repeat their gift or even to become regular givers? What steps can you take to reduce the number of missed opportunities seen year after year? Nowadays, there are thousands of organisations in the nonprofit sector seeking funds for their worthy cause.  So when building relationships with donors, it’s not just about the experience up until their gift, but also on closing the loop and providing the right post-gift experience. This is what will really get your donors coming back to your cause time and time again. To help, we’ve got some tips on how you can develop this positive experience through a donor loyalty program.

Donor loyalty programs

Say Thank You

It seems simple but this kind gesture is often overlooked by many nonprofits. Like anyone else, donors like to feel appreciated and acknowledged for their contributions. But don’t be fooled by thinking their contributions come in just monetary form, it’s important to thank them for all their contributions such as their time, money, energy, voice and loyalty. Being prompt also matters, waiting a few weeks to thank a donor for their generosity won’t have the same impact as thanking them within the first 24-72 hours. Don’t forget to get creative with your thank you messages. You don’t just have to send an email/letter or make a call, take advantage of social media platforms, videos, and events to show your appreciation. And the biggest key to thanking your donors is to thank them every chance you get, it’s not a one-time thing!

Part of Something Bigger

Every donor has helped you get to where you are, so why not make them feel a part of that? Keep them up to date on the wonderful things you’re achieving thanks to them and their generosity – send them videos or updates on things happening in the field. Demonstrate the impact they’ve had, whether big or small, everything counts. For something that is a little more immersive, invite them to attend tours, education sessions or other events you hold. Along the way, encourage them to provide feedback and share their experiences. Your donors aren’t wanting to just be part of your donor base, they want to be part of something bigger, part of your community. For more tips on creating a donor loyalty program read Gail Perry’s article “Donor Retention: The easiest money you’ll ever raise”  in Philanthropy by the Numbers: The Story Behind the Stats and start thinking of how you can either establish or improve your donors’ post-gift experience through donor loyalty programs.