5 Ways to Improve New Donor Retention

5 Ways to Improve New Donor Retention

5 Ways to Improve New Donor Retention

Hi! Welcome to the latest episode of The High-Five Nonprofit Marketing Ideas. I’m Julia McDowell, Marketing Strategist for Five Ones. The High-Five is my video series of marketing strategies and tactics for nonprofits and associations. Today, I’m talking about a favorite topic: donor retention.

We know how important retention is to nonprofits and organizations—it’s steady money that you can count on. I know it’s a difficult task. In fact, Bloomerang states that most nonprofits have a 40% donor retention rate, and that lowers to roughly 25% for new donors. So, by building relationships and making them feel special, you’re much more likely to have engaged, retained donors who are truly interested in your organization and its cause.

I’m going to focus not just on donor retention but on NEW donor retention here. How can you retain the new donors you’ve acquired? How do you convince newly acquired donors to continue giving? Let’s get into it:

  1. Say Thank You

I’ll start with the obvious. After someone donates to your organization, saying thank you is incredibly important. Set up an automated message to be sent as soon as someone donates, but follow that up with a written note that expresses your appreciation. It’s seemingly small gestures like this that really convince people to continue to give. Check out my High-Five video, 5 ways to say thank you for more.

  1. Make Them Feel Special

Going off the same theme as saying thank you, part of the journey is to make your new donors feel special. With seasoned donors, you have a relationship with them; they know their impact and then (hopefully) feel appreciated already. That’s what you have to build up with newer donors. So, brainstorm something unique to your organization that will make these donors feel like they matter. This could be a handwritten thank you note with a token branded gift, a phone call from a director, or an opportunity to give feedback.

  1. Show Them Their Impact

When people donate to an organization, they want to know their money’s impact. So show your donors! This could be sending regular email communication outlining new initiatives or events made possible with donor money. It could also include photos or videos that truly show what their money did. And, if you support specific groups of people, ask if they’d be willing to share statements on how the organization has helped them, and then share these with the donors that made it possible. People donate to make an impact, so show them theirs!

  1. Invite Them to Events

If you send communications out about events, make sure that new donors are also invited to said events. Include them wherever possible and appropriate so they can either see their impact, have another opportunity to donate, or feel like a part of the community. You’re keeping them engaged by keeping them abreast of your organization’s goings-on. And engaged donors tend to continue to give.

  1. Build a Relationship

Aside from sending a thank you note, what you’re really doing here is building a long-term relationship with these new donors. You spent marketing dollars on acquiring them, so don’t let them go so easily! It takes time and effort to communicate and engage with them continually, but they’re a much warmer lead than someone who hasn’t donated before. Focus part of your overall marketing strategy on retaining and nurturing these new donors—it will pay off!

What questions do you have about new donor retention? Have any great donor retention ideas? Leave them in the comments!

Thanks for joining me for today’s High-Five Nonprofit Marketing Ideas! Have a question? Email me at julia@fiveones.com.