Apr 7, 2014
In the midst of a recovering economy, it can be difficult for nonprofit organizations to retain donors on a consistent basis. Increased industry competition is also vying for dollars, so keeping benefactors loyal to the cause is not an easy task. According to a recent Bloomerang infographic, nonprofit donor retention in 2013 was 41 percent. What's more, donor attrition was 59 percent, as opposed to 6 percent in the private sector.
Harsh economic times may be driving the slight decline in donations, but listed below are four ways nonprofits can improve donor loyalty:
1. Build relationships: The focus of a nonprofit should not solely be to accept online donations. While that's important, it's more vital to see the long-term impact a loyal donor can have on an organization. A continued source of capital far outweighs a one-off donation from a benefactor, regardless the amount given. Constant communication in multiple channels is a good way to begin developing relationships with donors, the Nonprofit Hub says. Just like any personal relationships, it takes time and energy, but the investment is well worth it down the road.
2. Learn to trust donors: Once a relationship has sprouted, it's important that a nonprofit shows trust in its newly forged friendship. A great way to demonstrate this quality is by being completely transparent with all donors, the Nonprofit Hub recommends. Benefactors like to see beyond the online donation form, or how their money is affecting the organization behind the scenes. If a donor shares the passion or values that a nonprofit does, trust won't be difficult to develop.
3. Ease the pressure of giving: A mature relationship is based on trust, among other things. Nonprofits that have faith in their benefactors shouldn't have to repeatedly ask for donations; rather, they will believe that those who care will make an impact somehow - whether it's financial or through volunteer efforts. Another way to create brand loyalty in the same vein is to streamline the donation process. A simple redirect to your organization's donation management software will likely ease the stress or pressure of giving.
4. Reinforce your message: Before, during and after a fundraiser or event, nonprofit organizations must continually demonstrate why they are doing good for their community. The charity was most likely conceived on a specific set of ideas, so it's important the group does not lose touch with its identity. Nonprofits sell themselves on their message; its also how benefactors are drawn to a given organization. Giving donors a specific idea that resonates with their core values will create ultimate brand loyalty, the Nonprofit Hub added.