We are in the thick of Giving Season. With almost ⅓ of all donations being given in December, they are in big part from new donors. In fact, an estimated 70% of one-time donations come from donors who are brand new to the organization. While you should definitely celebrate these new supporters as you inch closer to or meet your goal for the year, your work is not done yet. If you want to retain these new donors’ support in 2021, you have got to continue engaging them.
Here are a few donor retention strategies that will help you to strengthen loyal relationships as well as nurture new ones.
Say "Thank You"
This has shown up on quite a few blog posts. No one should ever ever donate to a nonprofit or volunteer their time and energy without a heartfelt thank you. And this isn’t a one and done type of deal. It should be a central part of your retention strategy and communication efforts.
Create a Thank You page on your site that redirects the donor immediately after they have made their contribution.
Send out an end of year thank you to everyone who donated in 2020, and include new ways to get involved.
Post a public thank you on social media to highlight those who have contributed and give them a chance to share with their network.
You can get creative with how you say thanks to your supporters, and how you further engage them with that outreach. But if you want to retain donors, the words “Thank You” must reach them, and maybe more than once.
Encourage Monthly Giving
Recurring donors are invaluable to your nonprofit. In fact, according to The State of Modern Philanthropy, they are five times more valuable – but you need to act quickly. First time donors are most likely to become repeat donors within the first three months of their initial gift. So if you have had an influx of new donors in December due to the holidays, asking them to become monthly donors in January could be the most effective time of the year.
This doesn’t have to be a giant ask though. If someone donated $25 over the holidays, asking them to become a monthly donor of $5 a month doesn’t sound like a huge commitment on their end. But it more than doubles their yearly contribution and keeps them connected to your cause.
Share an Engaging Impact Report
Most nonprofits release their impact reports in January or early February, after they have had a chance to compile all the information from the previous year. While they are a good way for you to take a look at the internal workings of your organization, they are great for keeping the conversation going with donors.
Impact reports certainly contain the financial and fundraising info, but they offer the opportunity for you to share so much more, especially when created as an interactive webpage.
You can include:
Boring content is a thing of the past. When you are creating your annual impact report, keep it as engaging as possible with infographics, visual representations of the numbers, photographs and videos. And don’t forget to add strong calls-to-action where appropriate for those who are ready to get involved.
Announce Your Initiatives
We spend a lot of time in December looking back on the previous year. We look at what was successful, give thanks to the supporters and reflect on the impact. Then January comes, and it is time to look forward. Include your supporters in these conversations as well. Of course you want them to be involved in the campaigns and events, but also let them know about new undertakings and initiatives. Even if there isn’t a specific way for them to get involved just yet, you want them to feel like they are a part of your mission – not just watching from the sidelines.
Along these lines, you can also ask them to create and announce their initiatives as well. With so much donating being done virtually (even pre-pandemic), January is a good time to ask who will be doing a Facebook Birthday Fundraiser, or who would like to host a virtual donation drive. As you are mapping out your year, see who else is feeling motivated to get on the calendar as well.
Are you ready for 2021?
You have worked hard to introduce new donors to your nonprofit throughout the year. With some forethought and planning and these handy tips, you can strengthen those relationships and increase your donor retention. If you want more tips or assistance carrying out some of your ideas, Mittun is here to help.
How are you going to retain donors in 2021?
Contact Mittun for a free assessment today.