How to Retain Your Donors

It can cost up to 10 times as much to bring in a new donor as keep an existing one. And given escalating acquisition costs, diminishing DM results and the biggest recession for years, never was it so important to keep the donors you have. But how?

Yesterday, I listened in on the presentation of the results from an extensive survey conducted by US research company DonorVoice. You can download the report here:

Actually, it’s not rocket science, but it’s nice to know that the theory is now proven: The bottom line is if you want to retain the donors you have, you need to influence their attitude (read: Commitment) which in turn influences their behaviour. For every 1000 donors you can shift from low commitment to high commitment, your nonprofit/charity could anticipate an additional $200,000 in income.

There are 7 key drivers that will influence the degree of commitment from your donors:

  1. They feel that you are effectively trying to achieve your mission
  2. They know what to expect from your charity with each transaction
  3. You thank them promptly
  4. You give them opportunities to make their views known (they might not take you up on it, but just offering is enough!)
  5. You make them feel like they are part of important cause
  6. You give them a feeling of involvement, and make them feel appreciated
  7. You show them who they have helped

I believe that DonorVoice, in conjunction with some of the best known names in nonprofit/charity Direct Marketing, will be bringing out an Ideas Bank with lots of best practice ideas on how to achieve these 7 critical drivers. Watch this space (or their space!)