A Simple Tactic for Keeping New Donors Engaged

Retention rates for nonprofits seem to be plummeting.

In 2004, the average retention rate for new donors was 33%. Now it’s 27%! This is because of two trends:

  • More competition for donations.
  • More distracted donors.

The other cause for this drop in retention rates? Nonprofits invest heavily in acquisition, and not enough on retention.

Donor Love Fades Quickly

It’s a mistake to assume that donors continue to think about you after the campaign is over.

What’s more common is that they won’t remember who you are, unless you keep in touch with them.

What’s the key to retention? Keeping new donors engaged IMMEDIATELY after they donate.

All too often nonprofits drop the ball in this department. Yes, they might follow up with a receipt, and maybe a thank you. But rarely do they answer a simple that most new donors ask.

What’s Next?

A simple way to set the tone for an ongoing relationship is to tell them what’s next. For example:

  • Is their conversation on your Facebook page they should join? Link to one of your most popular Facebook updates in and on a reply to new donors.
  • What about forwarding an appeal to their friends? Direct appeal amongst friends via e-mail has the highest conversion rates.
  • What about following you on Twitter?
  • What about sharing Instagram pics tagged with a campaign hashtag?
  • What about watching a YouTube video with a deeper story?

The more you follow up, touch, and engage new donors, the more likely they’ll remember you the next time you have a fundraising campaign.

Don’t drop the ball anymore. It’s costing you too much money.