3 donor retention strategies

Donor retention should be a priority for nonprofits in 2015.
Date Published
01/05/2015

Nonprofit fundraising not only calls for 501(c)(3) organizations to expand their donor bases by attracting new contributors. It also requires that charities retain their current constituents and encourage them to keep offering their financial support.

Retention, in many respects, can be difficult. Many people will be moved to give to a specific cause or charity on a one-time basis. However, the goal of any nonprofit fundraising campaign is to partner with individuals in such a way that they are encouraged to donate continually.

As such, here are few helpful strategies that nonprofits can use to develop retention programs that keep donors on board and giving consistently:

  1. Segment constituents: No two donors are alike. Some individuals will give large amounts a few times a year while others will contribute less money, but far more frequently. According to Frogloop, charities should group constituents based on their giving habits in order to create a communication strategy based on hierarchy. Some organizations may want to make the consistent giver a focus, while others will make the individuals who contribute sizeable financial gifts a priority. Whatever the case, understanding who supporters are and recognizing their giving patterns are a valuable component of any retention strategy.
  2. Show appreciation: Many donors stop giving to a nonprofit because they don’t feel as if the organization was grateful to receive their gift. It is important to not only express gratitude after receiving a donation, but this sentiment must be communicated throughout the relationship a nonprofit has with its donor base, NonprofitHub wrote.
  3. Personalize outreach efforts: Although constituents may understand that they are not the only ones giving to a nonprofit, the organization can certainly make them feel this way. Frogloop suggests that any messaging sent to donors should always be personalized. Addressing individuals by name throughout the communication can help develop a rapport and strengthen the bond between the nonprofit and its supporters.

As we move into 2015, effective nonprofit fundraising efforts will hinge on keeping those who gave in 2014 doing the same in the new year. While it may be exciting to receive first-time gifts from new supporters, it’s important to remember that lulls will happen in nonprofit fundraising efforts. However, these down periods can be offset by building strong relationships with donors who give on a consistent basis and enjoy supporting their favorite charity.  

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