Donor Retention: Why it is Important and Three Ways to Fix It

Why do donors stop donating?

Simple – because you no longer impress them with your kind and quality of services or because they no longer put their trust in you.

If you want your organization to last, you need to know the answer to improving donor retention. Of course, the solution may vary from organization to organization. But one thing is certain: improving donor retention is the most pressing challenge facing nonprofits today.

Why is Donor Retention Important?

An undeniable truth is that the most successful organizations are the ones that have always been followed, have customers and do their business really well.

Further, because there will be multiple functioning organizations just like yours that do a similar business, so the customers will stay with the one that is doing best – delivering best results and can continue to maintain their trust and confidence. The idea isn’t to continue making new customers but also to make sure your old ones stay.

A simple statement here is that it is an extremely expensive and difficult affair to acquire new customers because they need to be convinced to commit to your cause. In contrast, once someone has taken the leap and given to your organization, they’ve selected you over other options, and they’re more likely to stick around and donate again.

Additionally, it isn’t really a smart idea for nonprofits to actually lose money or literally break to initially acquire a new donor. Further, it is actually your investment until your donor actually donates.

In a nutshell, improving donor retention is the smartest way to avoid overspending on donor acquisition. Organizations simply cannot grow at a sustainable rate without retaining customers.

Fixing Donor Retention – Here’s How it’s Done

Having discussed everything about donor retention and what makes it an extremely important point for a church or charity to sustain. Mentioned below are the three points that play an important role in donor retention:

  1. Create A Great Welcome Experience: Remember, first impression counts and you have to make it wonderful by all means. Get everything together to give your donors a red carpet welcome – tell them absolutely everything that you do – your work – your clients, everything.

Practically, that means send in a handwritten thank you note. Or, you could call them up to say thank you for now being a part of your organization. Additionally, you can provide them with a small piece of commemorative merchandise. If all of these aren’t something you appreciate you can send them an email introducing yourself, your services and your clients, your goals, and vision.

Never assume that your donors know how and where their contributions will be spent. Be specific about why they’re making a difference. Show them how you’ll use their gift to further your cause. If you can nail the welcome experience and create an emotional connection, you can significantly increase your chances of retaining donors.

  1. Do Not Forget to Invest in the Ongoing Engagement and Education Process: What happens at most a time is that organizations forget their donors once the donation is made and this is the most annoying thing to happen to the donors.

The core principle of establishing a relationship with your customers is consistency. What you should do is impart them the knowledge and the information about how you’re handling their money and how you make the best of it. As an organization, you are required to keep them informed about every activity – remember this is only so they may continue to trust you with their money.

Here what you can do is send them a monthly or weekly newsletter that has all the information about the performance of the church or charity. From the amount that you’ve received to where it has been used should be available in the newsletter. Try to keep the statistics accurate and depict everything with pictures where possible.

  1. Be Systematic about Following up with the Unengaged Donors: In a list of hundreds of donors, there could be chances of you missing out on a few donors. But, that doesn’t mean you can leave them like that. If you haven’t engaged a donor in the last few weeks do that now.

Best is to call them up and get right in touch with them, or you can write the handwritten notes, else send an email. Mention why they’re important, and how their donations in the past have made a difference. This is the only absolute way to keep your donors engaged and sure that you remember them.

As a nonprofit organization, or a church and charity your focus should be your donors so you can continue to grow and develop.

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