Donor Retention: Building a culture of engaged giving

August 01, 2013
| by Editor |

Have you seen a drop in consistent donors from year to year? Are you finding it hard to cover expenses through new-donor gifts? If so, you may need to develop a strategy for donor retention.

Treat your donors as customers

Foundation and Corporate sponsors are investing their time and money into your organization. It is important to listen to what they have to say, know their likes and dislikes, and continuously provide them with pertinent information. Keep your donors involved with your organization by connecting them to your mission and informing them about your outcomes, goals, progress and various volunteer opportunities. After all, donors want to stay connected.

Personalize communications as much as possible

Using a donor’s name and address isn’t enough. When communicating with donors, reference their interest in the organization and purpose of their gift. If a donor is interested in a specific program or purpose, provide the donor with information on the importance of their contribution and how it will affect their community.

Acknowledge gifts

Provide your donors with timely acknowledgements after you receive their gift and be sure to include information about how the gift will be used. Use this opportunity to highlight the successes of your organization or program, and continue to cultivate your donors even after you receive their gift.

Respond to emails and phone calls

Always follow-up with donors and ensure they are greeted with positivity and proper response. Reasonable follow-up shows donors that your organization respects their stakes and contributions to the organization.

Provide opportunities for engagement

While planning committees and campaigns, be sure to think about the various donors that have supported you over the year and provide them an opportunity to be part of the organization’s future and current decision-making. The more invested a donor feels, the more likely they are to continue or increase their support in the future.

Track donor levels and engagement

It is important to keep track of all the interactions you have with donors and make it easily accessible for your staff. This will allow you to create different levels of donor engagement and will assist in developing a fundraising plan for next year.  

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