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Donor Retention

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You did it! You got someone new to donate to your organization! Congratulations! Give yourself a hand!

You can now begin the process of transforming that one-time gift into a long-term relationship that benefits not only your nonprofit organization but your donor as well.

Blackbaud Institute 2020 Charitable Giving report shows that only 29% of First-Year, Offline-Only Donors will give a second time to your organization compare that to 59% of Multiyear, Offline-Only Donors. Clearly, we all need to do a better job of keeping our donors engaged.

Here are six tips to help you better turn those one-time donors into multi-year relationships.  

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CREATE A PLAN

You know that person who always needs help as opposed to the friend who asks occasionally? Who do you want to see when you are out on the town? Talk to your donors consistently about the impact their gifts are having in the world but don’t explicitly ask every time. A solid social media and electronic communication calendar ensures that people know what is happening without always feeling like they are being asked for more.

START BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS FROM THE GET-GO

Remember that time your niece didn’t text to thank you for her birthday present? So do your donors. If you are using donor management software, make sure the new online donor receives an immediate response for their gift. For offline donors and donors who are not giving through a donation, specific platform (PayPal, for instance), don’t be afraid to immediately reach out via email, letting them know you have received their gift and how much you appreciate it. A simple and immediate thank you is more likely to get someone to repeat the experience.

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CHOICES CHOICES CHOICES

Have you ever tried to purchase something online and just given up because the process didn’t suit you? You think you know how your donors like to give, but everyone is different. Giving your supporters multiple ways to help (Venmo, QR codes, websites, remit envelopes, etc.) will help keep them interested. If donating on the go is as easy as buying something on Amazon, they are much more likely to give again.

TELL THEM WHAT YOU WANT

Ever gotten a weird birthday present from your mom because you didn’t tell her what you wanted or needed? Donors are the same way; by creating giving tiers, you can let folks who want to help know what would be most beneficial to you. An additional benefit is your supporters can choose the amount that is right for them with one click.

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LET THEM KNOW THE EFFECT THEY ARE HAVING

Think about how you felt when your friend showed up wearing the scarf you gave her for her birthday? By letting people know what impact their gifts have, you remind them of the dopamine hit they got when they first gave and are more likely to give again. People give to help people and causes that they care about. If you don’t update them on how your clients are doing, then your donors may not feel like their gifts did anything.

FOCUS ON WHO YOU ARE HELPING

It never hurts to include a custom thank you note, be it a photo, video, phone call, or even a handwritten note on the bottom of your fundraising thank you letter to make every donor feel special. Remember, the $10 donor can add up to thousands of dollars over the life of your relationship, so don’t discount them.

It all boils down to creating a relationship with your donors; as much as they are giving you something you need to sustain your mission, you are also providing them with an invaluable service of allowing them to make a difference in the world. It is important to remember that everyone gets something out of the donor funder relationship.