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Top 4 Ways to Retain Donors
Top 4 Ways to Retain Donors
Katy avatar
Written by Katy
Updated over a week ago

A campaign that is able to retain donors is doing something right. But what are those things?

Here are 4 ways you can increase your donor retention.

Nurture new donors

According to the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the total overall donor retention rate for 2022 was 42.6%, the lowest rate on record.

If you want to retain donors, you need to think like one. The top two things donors want to know when they make a donation is:

  1. Am I truly helping the organization?

  2. Am I being treated like a human ATM or am I truly valued?

You must nurture your donors so they know they are appreciated. Give them updates about your campaign, get their opinions on important issues and invite them to special events.

How did their donation impact your campaign?

Use donor-centric language that focuses on the donor and their impact, not on your campaign. This is very simple to do by replacing the word "we" with "you" in your text messages. You can even use the word "team."

Keep these donors in the loop. Once you have people on board, they like to know they are helping make a difference with their donations. This is especially true for recurring donors.

Maximizing goals

Set the bar higher for your donors by giving them a goal.

Here are a few examples:

  1. Become a recurring donor by encouraging one time donors to join this exclusive group of supporters.

  2. Double their donation

  3. Matching - Highlight their donation will be matched by another donor.

  4. Money Pledge - Ask donors if they'd like to make an additional donation on a future date.

  5. Donation Segmentation - Use Donation Highest Amount, Donation Last Amount, Donation Last Date or Donation Total Amount segmentation to ask for additional donations. Don't forget to suppress recurring donors!

When it comes to your recurring donors, you must treat them differently. Suppress recurring donors from your regular fundraising message sends. They should be provided content that will bolster why the campaign appreciates their recurring donations. Nothing upsets a recurring donor more than being asked for more money over and over again when they are already doing it.

Thank your donors

Always thank your donors quickly and effectively. Schedule an automatic thank you message for every donation that comes in within 15 minutes of their donation. Don't wait 5 days to send the message.

Your thank you message should not include another donation ask. This is where they will feel like you are treating them like a human ATM. If you must include a donation ask, make it a soft or indirect ask.

Your message should be personalized. Use merge tags for first name, email address, phone number or another merge tag in your message. This will make your donors feel more appreciated and connected to your campaign.

If at all possible, tie in the impact of their donation into your thank you message.

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