The Best Strategies for Nonprofit Donor Retention

donor retention

Nonprofit organizations offer an array of essential services around the world, but it’s unfortunately true that most of them are chronically underfunded. A lack of funding can hinder the organization’s goals and cause resource shortages that seriously impact operations. Still, there are donors who want to help. If you’re wondering how to boost donor retention, read on for some of the most effective donor retention strategies.

Be a Donor Manager

Rather than viewing donors as an external resource, view them as a part of your organization. Through this lens, adopt the role of donor manager and take responsibility for motivating your donors. How can you do this? Share the successes and struggles that make their donations so important, and remind them of the impact their generosity can have.

Invest in Technology

One of the biggest mistakes a nonprofit can make is neglecting to invest in cutting edge technology. You want to make it as simple, streamlined, and straightforward as possible for your donors to connect with your organization and make a pledge. Tech innovations such as apps and membership subscription services can make it easy to achieve this.

Leverage Nonprofit Data

Your nonprofit’s data is one of the most valuable resources you have. Most donors are driven to action when they see the firsthand results of their generosity. You can demonstrate those results by sharing data that highlights the achievements of your organization — as well as the losses cause by lapsed donors and downgraded gift donors.

Perfect Your Annual Fund Strategy  

Annual funds are one of the most popular fundraising strategies, and with good reason. It’s often an effective approach. It’s important to remember that organizations that achieve a higher annual fund number are likely to have better overall donor retention. This is a great place to focus your efforts, then.

Ask For a Second Gift

Many organizations are hesitant to solicit another gift soon after a donor gives for the first time. Some organizations will even wait an entire year before soliciting another donation. While this may avoid any appearance of earnestness, it’s not the best policy. Donor retention improves significantly when an organization seeks out a second gift.

Improve Communication

One of the best ways to improve donor retention is to improve interpersonal communication. If your entire donation process takes place online with zero human interaction, it’s likely to feel impersonal — which doesn’t inspire retention, for most. Take the time to talk to your donors and consider nonprofit insurance to cover the most common liabilities associated with nonprofits.

Ask for Feedback

Perhaps the most important way to achieve donor retention is to seek feedback from donors — including those who continue their support and those who lapse. Ask them, why do you continue to donate — or why did you stop donating?

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