How Nonprofits Can Attract and Retain Repeat Donors

Author: Brent Raindl, Dallas Region Chairman 05/23/2019

Just as most businesses work hard to retain customers, nonprofits struggle to keep donor retention rates high. And because the cost of acquiring new donors is higher than the cost of keeping current ones, donor retention has a direct impact on a non-profit’s expenses.

Below are four strategies that can help you identify and nurture qualified donors and motivate them to become repeat donors.

Demonstrate Your Impact

Your impact is your story. Many donors are interested in knowing how donations to your nonprofit are used before they decide to contribute. You can help educate potential donors by using this opportunity to show the impact of your organization. Sharing success stories tied back to donations can re-invigorate repeat donors and build excitement around your overall impact. Showcase some of your successful projects on your website, social media pages and newsletters to get the word out.

And don’t underestimate the power of your team. Encourage volunteers to post their stories and involvement on their personal social media pages in order to further your reach. If you’re hosting an event or running a campaign, social media can amplify the message significantly. People love being a part of a movement that makes a difference, so get your story out there and share the impact of your organization.

Send Personalized Thank-You Messages

Sending along a personalized thank-you message to donors can go a long way. Instead of getting overwhelmed in responding to each donation, create a strategy and organization-wide process for thanking donors.

Consider planning a tiered system for different levels of donation. If the donations fall within a lower-range (e.g., Level 1, Bronze Level, etc.), send a personalized email thanking them for their contribution. If it falls within a medium to higher value (e.g., Level 2 or 3, Silver or Gold Level, etc.), send a more personalized thank you in the form of a handwritten letter or small gift.

Consider creating an infographic or email update that shares the strides your organization has made and tack on a personal note thanking the individual for being part of the success if you’re worried about spamming your donors.

Regardless of your response, having a strategy in place will simplify the process and ensure all donors feel the impact of their contribution. Those personal touchpoints will help in retaining repeat donors, making them feel appreciated and pivotal to the cause.

Provide Donor-Centric Content

Effective storytelling is the heart and soul of nonprofits. When it comes to getting the attention of new and repeat donors, it’s important to deliver consistent content that reflects their interests, feedback and personal narratives.

In order to reach your retention goals, keep messaging top of mind. Humanize your mission and tap into emotions with real-life stories and testimonials that elevate your impact. Strike a good balance between emotional storytelling and factually grounded content that can provide context, data and actionable steps for your audience. Consider taking surveys throughout the year or hosting forums to better understand what keeps longtime supporters passionate and engaged, and where there’s room for improvement.

Inspire Your Donors

Lastly, a great way to attract new donors and drive repeat donors is through inspiration. If you’re only contacting donors when you’re asking for money, it can be a big turn off. Focus on delighting your audience rather than just selling and prospecting.

When donors are intrinsically motivated and moved by a cause they truly care about, they’re more likely to contribute. Inspire donors through a monthly email newsletter that compiles touching stories, noteworthy achievements for your cause, the culture behind the organization, and donor/volunteer quotes or spotlights.

Social media is a great way to bring a visual and emotional connection to your brand and to creatively tell your story. Facebook has risen through the ranks as the premier social fundraising tool for nonprofits. Not only is Facebook a great outlet for storytelling and extending your reach, but it also has a built-in fundraising tool to make giving simple and shareable.

A Partner to Help You Grow

Motivating donors to give again can be a challenging task. As an active community partner, we understand the challenges nonprofit organizations face and work with you to help your organization run effectively and efficiently. To find out more about what we can do for your organization, speak with one of our specialists today at 866-303-0550.

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