How to increase donor loyalty

One of the most detrimental trends facing nonprofits today is the alarming rate at which organizations are shedding donors.

According to The Resource Alliance, a nonprofit consulting group, charitable foundations in both the United Kingdom and the United States are hemorrhaging contributors following their first and second donations in great percentages. U.K.-based nonprofits regularly anticipate initial attrition rates of 50 percent, while those in the U.S. can expect upwards of 70 percent.

The Resource Alliance claims organizations who manage an increase of 10 percent in donor retention can yield contribution increases as high as 200 percent. This following are a series of tips nonprofits can follow to increase loyalty and, as a result, donations.

Choose your words carefully
Crafting a particularly compelling message can be an important influencer in successfully encouraging donor loyalty.  A nonprofit's directive should strive to be as pointed as possible. Specificity attracts contributors more prone to loyalty.

The message should answer a number of questions like "What do the words say about my organization?" or "Does our message adequately reflect how we operate?"

Strive for satisfaction
It's easy to ignore donor satisfaction because nonprofits don't offer typical products and services, but it may be one of the most important factors in determining loyalty. According to The Resource Alliance, contributors who identify as satisfied with the quality of service they've received from nonprofits are twice as likely to donate the following year.

Simplify the process
Donors might not necessarily be lazy, but inconvenience is one the most effective means of dissuading prospective contributors. Nonprofits should aim for simplicity.

Most nonprofits these days accept online donations. Organizations should work to enhance user experience. Providing potential contributors with an intuitive interface can ensure any barriers to giving are removed.

Foster relationships
As with any business customers, nonprofits are reliant upon the relationships they share with their customers - meaning donors, in this case. Organizations should be careful to not approach contributors as merely a one-time transaction.

To maintain relationships, keeping a relatively open line of communication is imperative. There are various channels to connect with donors - special promotions, video content, social media - and effective efforts will include multiple channels.

Donor loyalty is an attainable goal, but it requires a concerted effort by nonprofits.

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