Ensuring new donors stay on board beyond the first donation can be very difficult. With new donor rates steadily decreasing since 2015, sitting at 6.6% in the first half of 2019 according to a report by the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have a plan in place to retain vital donors.
The first step in increasing your growth rate is to maintain thorough tracking records so that you can target donors with the most effective campaign.
The second step is to treat your lapsed donors as a separate group for target campaigns like you would Major Gifts, etc.
Lastly, approach every aspect of your organization through a lens of concern for donor retention. This is the least expensive way to successfully increase your growth rate and fundraising effectiveness.
This process is all about understanding donor motivations, as well as making interactions pleasurable and hassle-free. According to Psychology Today, the number one reason potential donors choose to give a tangible donation is that they exhibit a shared interest and experience.
This is good news. This means they are already in emotional agreement with your mission. All you have to do is keep that connection flowing to secure their future funding.
Engaging donors with positive objective outcomes and storytelling is key. Desperate claims of crisis and crying poor don’t work. Highlight the difference their donation makes to the cause.
Lastly, make your donors feel important. They want to know the organisation plans and campaign outcomes, make them more connected to the organisation, that way they are more likely to be a retained donor.
Use email software that will generate automatic replies and personalize all your email communications from the very first thank you. If the donor leaves a large sum, write them a personal, hand-signed letter to show your thanks. Personalisation goes a long way.
Make giving easy. Include a donation link in each email. This way it will encourage those who want to give, but don’t know where. Additionally, make it possible to make the donation recurring in a number of different amounts.
Allow for feedback. Ask for information about the donation process, solve any sticking points and ask for wider suggestions for the nonprofit. When you let donors talk and listen to what they have to say, they will become more invested in your nonprofit because they’re contributing in more ways than just financially.
Asking donors to volunteer lets them interact with your organization, see your mission in action, and provide support in a different way.
As volunteers work on projects or at fundraising events, they get to work first-hand with staff and other supporters. During the time they spend volunteering, donors will talk and share interests, building relationships that will further connect them to your nonprofit.
Let donors use their specific talents. For example, if a donor is a strong sportsman allow them to put on a sporting event for either the target of the organisation or even for the staff themselves. Again, this will only help to build relationships further.
Just like a for-profit business needs the best location, a nonprofit has to be where their donors are spending their time. This means social media platforms, particularly in Los Angeles.
Cross-platform marketing serves several functions; easy access for donors, brand identity recognition, and valuable personal interaction with donors.
Pick social media sites that align with your needs as an organization. For example, LinkedIn allows you to connect with larger businesses and potentially reach your message to those with the financial resources to help. Facebook and Instagram are also a great way of sharing your mission through interactive and engaging content such as videos.
However, make sure you have a coherent vision and execute it well. Social media is a powerful tool, but without a plan and staying on top of the pesky algorithms your content can be lost in a sea of posts. If you have the budget be sure to hire a social media manager such as Pistol Social, this will allow you to focus on the organisation's mission.