Donor retention, also known as donor love, has been hogging the nonprofit spotlight lately. Why?
Because outside of doing the work your nonprofit exists to do, retaining donors is THE most important thing your organization can do to ensure your impact is felt for generations to come.
Whether you rely on a handful of major donors, a massive group of small–dollar donors, or a blend of the two, every single one matters. But retaining these donors – your nonprofit’s lifeline – is proving to be tough work.
Think about your relationship with your donors as a good, old fashioned courting.
When a donor chooses to support you, it’s significant, whether it’s a $10 gift or a $1,000 gift. They chose YOU. Out of all the clutter, everything else vying for their attention, all of the mail and email and billboards and commercials, YOU caught their eye.
Now you, at the beginning of the courtship and being the good suitor you are, are tasked with doing everything that you can to make them feel appreciated, informed, excited and, yes, loved.
Show Your Donors Love
So how are you doing that? Are you …
- Calling them to thank them for their very first gift? For choosing YOU?
- Sending them a heartfelt thank you note, written by hand?
- Gifting them with a Welcome Kit?
- Quizzing them on how they want to communicate in this courtship, and then, actually fulfilling their communication wish?
- Asking questions about their feelings for you and your relationship via a phone call, letter or email?
- Providing them with reasons to love you even more via stories and/or videos that exemplify all of the wonderful things that they help you do?
- Inviting them over to your place for a date? Giving them a tour? Sharing a firsthand look at how important their generosity is?
- Recognizing your anniversary every year – that date when they first turned an eye to you?
- And then thanking them again? And again? And … again?
Your donors are fickle and, be warned, your courtship never ends. It takes diligence and persistence. You would not be YOU without them – their continued support of your endeavors, their participation in your walks and galas, and, most importantly, their advocacy for your organization. Think about the early days of a relationship in which you are head over heels for some guy or gal and how not only are you shouting from the rooftops about how wonderful they are, but they are right beside you, shouting, too.
Your suitor/supporters want a personal, human, and meaningful connection with your cause. Don’t you think it’s about time you put more focus on ensuring that they feel the love?