Your Donor Retention Adventure Begins Here

Do you remember the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books? When the reader comes to the end of a passage, they must make a decision. Do they enter the dark cave or take the road that runs through the forest? Each decision takes the reader through a different part of the story and results in an unforeseen result. Donor retention strategies require the same decision making and risk taking. 
The Cave or The Forest?

According to the 2016 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report, the new donor retention rate for last year was a dreadful 26.6%. In a recent Gallup survey involving over 17,000 donors nationwide, 47% gave money to three to five nonprofit groups and 15% gave to six or more. Moreover, over 80% of donors say that they need to believe in the organization’s mission, and over 60% want to know exactly how their gift will be used. So the question is, what is your current retention rate and which path are you going to choose to improve it?

Choose Wisely...

By now, you know how important it is to engage donors on a level that helps build a lasting relationship. However, before you sprint into the forest to retrieve back your lost donors, ask yourself these questions:
  • Does your brand align with your mission and are your services consistent with your message?
  • What elevates your organization’s brand, service, or promise above the rest? Is this niche truly unique, or can it apply to any nonprofit?
  • How do you follow through on your promises?
  • Are you effectively communicating successes or needs and through which channels?
  • Do these channels resonate with your donors?
  • Do your staff members believe in the mission and believe it will create a better future?
  • Are they able to communicate that confidence through email, social media, direct mail, and phone calls?
  • Are your fundraising strategies encouraging further involvement and offering other giving opportunities?

The Light at the End of the Cave (or Forest)

Decision time. Be prepared to make phone calls, invite people to volunteer, organize events, explore new marketing channels and strategies, offer meaningful information, and open the lines of communication between you and your supporters. You should do everything in your power to make sure that you are relevant to your donors, honor their requests, answer their questions, and connect with them in every way possible.

Review your website and printed marketing pieces. Update all outdated information and include a name, title, physical location address, phone number, and email address to make it easy for your supporters to get ahold of you and, more importantly, feel welcome. Talk to an RKD Alpha Dog Account Services team member about other ways to improve the two-way conversation with donors. The holiday season is looming close, and you will need to choose the path that leads to the greatest results.

“Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Your furry friend,



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