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September 26, 2014 Don’t Get Dumped by Your Donors

You may be able to count on one hand those donors who give to your organization year after year.  But we all know you cannot survive on the donations of these people alone.  Most donors only give once.  This may be a shocking statement, but it’s true. One thing almost all nonprofit organizations have in common is the issue of how to keep donors giving year after year.  I’d like to offer you a few suggestions that will help with donor retention.

After each event, print the list of donors who attended, then pick up the phone and call them.  The best way to do this is to divide the list among your board members and have them make these calls.  I already know what you’re thinking – “We’re going to get our board members to do this???”  Yes, it is critical that they, as leaders of your organization, personally make these calls. All they need to do is simply thank these donors for their support.  It’s not necessary for them to ask for anything, just tell these valuable individuals “Thank you”. If the donor does not answer the phone, they can simply leave a message of thanks. These calls should ideally take place within 24 hours of your event but no longer than 48 hours afterward.

This simple gesture conveys to your donors know that they are appreciated and that they matter.  This is critical because nonprofits are often “fighting” among each other for the same dollars, causing donors to become more strategic in their giving.

Keeping donors engaged and informed is also important in donor retention.  I suggest you reach out to them via a special email every quarter informing them of the progress of various activities their money has supported.  This keeps them engaged, keeps your nonprofit at the top of their mind and, most important to them, and informs them how their gifts are making a difference.

Develop a Donor Retention plan, follow it, and don’t leave this very important step to chance.

Make every minute a revenue generating minute!

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