Did you know on average 55% of your first time donors will never gift your organization again? So if you see 45% of your donors gift second time or more than twice your marketing is working well. Now I am sure you agree that converting 100% of donors into committed monthly or annual donors is a virtually impossible by any means. However, increasing your donor retention by 10% is something reachable by almost any credible nonprofit organization. In this article we will take you through a simple method that will help you improve your donor retention starting from the moment you implement our three step method. The great news is that you can apply this to your email marketing, website content, social media marketing, videos and so much more.
The Method Explained
According to BankRate 96% of Americans said they have or will give to one or more charitable organization during one year. This means there is a great deal of opportunity for nonprofit organizations that present that can communicate and motivate passionate supporters to their cause.
People make donations because they want to share with a needy cause they are passionate about. However, the process of attracting and keeping donors is a little more complex and requires nonprofit organizations to address the desires and expectations of their donors.
While the Thank-Engage-Inspire method is just the tip of the iceberg for gaining and retaining donors. Use this process gracefully and with your day-to-day marketing activity and your donation revenue will increase significantly.
A first time donor is unlikely to donate to your nonprofit a second time if they do not receive a thank you email or letter and it does not stop there. It is important to ensure a thank you email is crafted in such a way it leaves a long lasting impact. Above all, a well written thank you email or letter should inspire the donor to become emotionally involved and feel part of the bigger picture of your organization.
This does not mean you have to create a 1000 word thank-you email or letter. However, you will need to craft meaningful message that includes three important attributes.
- Let donors feel your gratitude & the impact of their donation
- Share information about latest projects, success stories, events, etc.
- Make donors feel important, share how they can continue to help and make an impact.
- Sad to say so many nonprofits do not engage effectively nor enough with their donors which are the main contributors to low donor retention rates. Finding new donors takes time and can be relatively expensive, so it makes sense to ensure you welcome donors and make them feel part of the bigger picture as quickly as possible.
To put this into perspective; if you had made a donation to an organization and received a weak thank-you letter with no further communication, would you be likely to donate again?
Now let's say you received an amazing thank-you letter or email along with links to some compelling success stories, a list of local events, a link to a newsletter and some cool ways to make a long-term impact. Then a month later you received a friendly email reiterating their gratitude and updating you on some latest project success stories along with other interesting news.
Do you think it would influence emotionally to become more involved and invoke further support from you?
Bottom line, you can engage your donors in so many ways. It's just a matter of choosing ways you feel comfortable with and have the resources for.
Social media platforms are great places to engage your existing donors and target audience. However, great social areas take time to cultivate so it's important to work on them consistently and take a long-term view. Only then will you see the true short, medium and long-term rewards.
As a guide, wherever you are present online whether it be your home, about or donation page, a thank you email, a newsletter, social media to name just a few, create content that people want to read and share with others.
Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes so it's important to develop a well-rounded approach that will broaden your nonprofits horizon of opportunity across your diverse target audience.
It's important to arouse excitement and inspire potential and existing donors to take action. So, when you create content (written, video or imagery) pay special attention to how you craft the way your inspirational message so it appeals to its intended audience.
Your inspirational content should be impactful, easy to read and provide clear call to action instructions.
Use compelling content such as success story snippets (video or written), donor feedback, recognition boards, events updates, and donor incentives. Frankly, the list is endless.
Keep your message short and concise, always remember that the end goal is to encourage an action without the risk of distraction.
All the content you create for your nonprofit organization should captivate your target audience. Inspirational content is one of the most effective ways to grab and persuade people from all walks of life.
Here a just a few ways you can inspire new and existing donors to give and support:
- Produce authentic video
- Use powerful pictures
- Give your audience a reason to care
- Make it easy for donors to give wherever they are
- Always say ''thank you''
- Making giving feel purposeful
- Offer specific ways to give
- Explain how their support helps
- Show the compassion of your people
The Thank, Engage & Inspire method is not the secret key to gaining and retaining donors and supporters. It is in fact the most logical way to communicate with your target audience, donors, volunteers, supporters and followers.
The Thank, Engage & Inspire method is powerful and if used correctly will never fail your nonprofit organization.
Remember, we are talking about a 10% increase. Imagine the impact of a 10% annual increase in donors that gift recurring donations, not to mention a higher new donor acquisition percentage rate.