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Best Practices for Donor Retention

At the end of every campaign, activity, or time period, nonprofits are left with the same question: how to improve retention rates?

Improving donor retention is one of the top priorities for nonprofits of all kinds, regardless of their size or fundraising experience and capacity. In a perfect world, donors will come back to give more and support your cause, but realistically, we know that’s not going to happen all the time.

However, there are still many ways an organization can build long-lasting donor relationships for a healthy rate of donor retention. Best practices being in place, your team can focus on strengthening other parts of the organization’s strategies without worrying about meeting campaign goals.

Maintain Strong Supporter Relationships

A common mistake that nonprofits make when it comes to donor relationships is not doing enough to maintain a strong connection. If you want your donors to come back to support you, you can’t leave the ball in their court. Engagement and interaction become your responsibility, and not theirs, and you will have to work to position your organization as a part of their lives.

There are many ways to do this, such as charity auctions, meetups, etc. but in a world that is growing more and more oriented towards digital interactions, one of the best ways to go about this is to make regular online connections through acknowledgment emails, social media presence, etc.

Offer Many Ways to Give Back

Very often, donors don’t return because they aren’t presented with enough diversity or variety in the ways they can show their support. Donating on a regular basis may not fit into your supporter’s lifestyle, either because of personal obligations or changing circumstances, and often, charitable donations are not always the top priority.

By providing donors diverse ways to contribute, you can make sure you are not alienating individuals who really do care about your cause. By offering them the option of donating items or their time a la volunteering opportunities, you can make giving back accessible for more supporters.

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to leverage the power of supporters who don’t have the capacity to donate directly. With this kind of campaign, nonprofits empower volunteers to set up campaign pages on behalf of their cause. That way, individuals driving these donations to the organization by sharing the pages with their family and friends.

This method will not only help maintain engagement with existing supporters but will also help grow the reach of your nonprofit.

Make Giving Convenient

For many individuals, giving back maybe a bit of a hassle. Making donations isn’t always on the front of supporter’s minds, and if the process itself is tedious, then it drops further down the priority list.

Making contributing easier for your community may require the implementation of some easy fixes to be able to boost how much they can give or how often. However, the best time to lay the foundations for donor support is during the first donation. With a positive first impression, donors are likely to return and give more.