4 ways to show donor value and improve retention

If you work for a nonprofit, there's n question that your ultimate goal is to succeed in whatever cause you're supporting. However, it's equally important to make sure your financial bases are covered so you can fulfill your strategy without having to worry.

Even though most nonprofits now accept online donations and can focus their fundraising efforts to the Web, the retention rate of first-time donors is just 27 percent, according to a Blackbaud study.

This is a cause for concern, especially since the same retention rate was over 30 percent a decade ago, npENGAGE reported. Below are four tips to help your charitable organization keep its donors for longer:

1. Interact with your donors: People like to put a face to a name of an organization, and there's no better way to personalize a donor's experience by sending an immediate follow-up email or social media response, says npENGAGE. It makes them feel as if their contributions were of significant value to your cause. A nice touch would be a multimedia or animation showing their contribution adding to the organization's financial firepower.

2. Keep them in the loop: Another good way to make your benefactors feel wanted is to send them information about your cause. Keep touching base with them every other week or on a monthly basis via newsletter or email. Include stories about how individual donor gifts have made a difference in your cause. Build a strong relationship with them by keeping your organization top of mind.

3. Notice the timing of their gifts: If a donor gives on the first or last day of the month, there's a chance that he or she was recently paid by an employer. People tend to be more generous after they receive a paycheck, npENGAGE suggests. Take note of when they gave and the method in which they did so, and follow up accordingly. It can be a turn-off if an organization asks for money at a bad time, so be careful and keep track of when your donors were willing to give.

4. Extend the relationship offline: It may seem contradictory, seeing as this list recommends online communication and driving traffic to your online donation form, but a part of making an experience personal for your benefactors is literally making it personal. Get in front of your donors at charity events, shake their hand, and tell them how much their gift means to your organization. A piece of direct mail won't hurt either, npENGAGE advocates. Multichannel engagement is yet another way to demonstrate how important they are. 

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