How to Improve Your Donor Retention Rate

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What is Donor Retention?

The amount or percentage of donors who return to offer another contribution in a specific period is donor retention. The majority of charities and organizations track donor retention year after year.

Why Is Donor Retention Important?

A high retention rate suggests a strong support structure for a nonprofit. Here are some more reasons why NGOs and charities should prioritize donor retention.

How do you keep your donors?

One of the most challenging tasks for a nonprofit organization is to keep all of its contributors pleased. This becomes one of the main priorities for groups that rely heavily on donations to keep their operations functioning. Donors, huge, institutional donors, always have certain expectations and a few questions that must be addressed, and your responses may have an impact on your relationship with them. After all, they've entrusted you with a lot of responsibility. The average donor’s retention rate is 40% to 45%. Following are some ways to keep donors:

Engage them

Rather than mass-marketing to a large number of people, you may communicate with each donor individually. It should have a psychological effect that makes contributors feel valued rather than anonymous. You may achieve this by displaying and telling them how their donations are being used. Most contributors, particularly individual donors, offer their hard-earned money because they are passionate about a cause or issue. Engaging them at various intervention phases can also benefit you since they may provide you with helpful and relevant feedback.

Show them their impact

Making individuals feel valued is one of the most effective ways to get them to offer their best. Inviting donors to special events or even arranging events around them is one of the most effective donor retention methods. Many significant contributors have events dedicated to them to show the public who they are and to make them feel appreciated.

Thank Them

Because it is human nature to want to maintain power, expressing thank you empowers the donor, leading to future donations and long-term connections between you and the donor.

Why do donors leave?

Donated to a different organization

There's no doubting that the competition for donations is tight, so it's no surprise that many donors report giving to another charity instead. Remember the three things that donors require from you to continue donating to your organization. Your donors will not abandon you if you accomplish these things correctly. About 36 % of donors leave because they think others are more deserving.

Poor service or communication

Thank you notes should not be the end of your correspondence with donors. Donors want to know that their money was put to good use and made a difference. They'll want to keep donating to your organization if you can achieve this. About 18 % of donors leave because of poor communication.

About 54 % of the donors leave because they can't afford to support the organization, while 16% leave because of their deaths.

No Acknowledgement

We all want to believe that we are important to others and that what we do makes a difference. One of the most common blunders an organization may make is failing to recognize a gift, regardless of its amount. Another misstep is sending a generic bulk email without expressing gratitude to the recipient. Nobody wants to feel like a speck in a vast pond. Another complaint raised by contributors is that they receive too many requests for new contributions, making them feel like they are only appreciated for their money. About 18 % of the donors leave because of no acknowledgment.

Why do donors stay?

Perceive organization as effective

Donors that understand your efforts and believe in your vision will be your most steadfast supporters. You may further contextualize their experience by demonstrating your shared beliefs. Because of their emotional attachment to the group, they will be more inclined to tell others about it and encourage their friends to join them.

Know what to expect with each iteration

Donors feel empowered when they believe their donation directly influences fixing a condition. Give your donors specifics about what their contributions are supporting. Donors gain trust when you provide exact details about what you're achieving as a direct result of their gifts.

Receive a timely thank you.

Thank you by phone or email within 48 hours. In a test with board members who contacted contributors within 48 hours to thank them, those called donated 39 percent more than those who were not. Also, even after 14 months, those who were phoned donated 42 percent more. A little gratitude goes a long way.

Receive info on who is being helped

Donors feel empowered when they believe their donation directly influences fixing a condition. Give your donors specifics about what their contributions are supporting. Donors gain trust when you provide exact details about what you're achieving as a direct result of their gifts.

Feel like they're part of an important cause

Share facts and anecdotes that demonstrate the effect of your contributors' contributions to help them understand the significance of their contributions. Supporters will be more likely to donate again if they see how their money makes a difference. Social media, emails, newsletters, articles, and infographics on your website are all straightforward methods to communicate effectively. The more you can demonstrate to your contributors that their contributions count, the more involved they will become.

Thanking Donors

Thank You Cards should be sent

Thank you notes are a standard method to express gratitude, but that doesn't mean they're ineffective in making contributors feel valued. Sending monthly contributors thank you notes is another low-cost approach to express your thanks and keep your organization in their minds. Thank you, cards are especially appropriate for donors who have supported your organization for a long time.

Send a handwritten, personalized thank you note.

Emails are excellent, and newsletters may give updates, but nothing beats a handwritten message from a natural person. Encourage your board members and employees to put pen to paper and write a meaningful statement of thanks to your supporters.

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