You had a good year for fundraising. You made your goal. Congratulations!
New donors! Fantastic.
But, did you know that you could have raised even more money by doing one little thing?
Yes, one simple little thing.
Your organization could raise more money for your mission and ministry . . . just by retaining more of your donors.
Retain more donors? Really?
“But we hit our $$ goal. That’s what really matters. That’s what keeps the lights on. That’s what feeds the kids. That’s what helps the sick. That is what provides students scholarships.”
“Does it really matter how many donors gave if we still hit our $$ goal?”
Oh, yes. Yes it does!
And here is why.
üThe average donor retention rate is 46% (2016 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey)
üOn average, for every 100 donors you gain, you will lose at least 96 annually.
ü7 out of 10 first time donors will not make a 2nd gift.
üAfter 5 years, you’ll have only 3% of the donors you acquire this year.
üIt costs about 7x more to acquire a new donor than to retain an existing donor?
“Improving Retention Rates By Just 10% Can Increase the Total Amount of Money Donors Give” according to Dr. Adrian Sargeant.
So, what do you think? Are you ready to improve your retention rates and raise more money?
* * * *
First, it is important to know your retention rate.
Use this simple, easy to understand formula . . . .
DONOR RETENTION RATE = Number of Donors who gave in 2014 and again in 2015
¸ Total number of donors who gave in 2014
Ideally you want to be retaining at least 60% or more of your donors annually.
How do you retain more of your donors and raise more money?
Improve donor loyalty . . . by improving the donor experience . . . by valuing our donors for who they are, not just what they can give.
The goal is to make your donors feel good about their generosity. The goal is to make sure that your donors know that your entire organization appreciates their generosity.
“The gift is the first step towards joining our community. It’s the beginning of the relationship; not the end.” ~ Claire Axelrad, J.D., CFRE
Happy donors are generous donors.
“Focus on the person and the relationship first, not their wallet.” Sandy Rees, CFRE
Your job, regardless of how large or small your budget, is to make sure your donors are satisfied and proud of their gift (no matter how large or small).
“Donors don’t give to you; they give through you to create the change they want to see.” ~ Claire Axelrad, J.D., CFRE
The first thing is thanking without an ask. “Sincerely thank your donor in a timely manner and then, once you’ve spent their funds, tell them the story of the impact their funds had on the people your organization serves.” ~ Lynne Wester
Make seven contacts with a donor within one year after the gift. For every one request you make for a gift, you need seven other meaningful contacts. Meaningful contacts are phone calls, personal visits, emails, hand written notes, etc. Meaningful contacts show and tell the donor the impact and power of their gift, where the money went, and how it was spent. Meaningful contacts are for ALL donors not just the “majors”.
Get to know your donors. Really get to know them. It is essential that you understand your individual donors.
- Why they support your cause? What need of theirs is being met by supporting your cause?
- What are their preferences? Annual Fund or Capital? Email or snail mail?
- Why they stopped giving?
Donors want to know that you know who they are and why they support you. They want you to know why they increased their last gift. And they want you to know why they left after 5 years of giving.
Stop focusing so much time and resources on acquisition. It is expensive with a low return on investment. Future major donors and bequests are already supporting your mission and ministry with regular annual support. If you take the time to get to know them, all of them, you’ll find your lifelong supporters and benefactors.
In 2014, Giving USA reported that over $300 billion was given to charities by individuals. Over 1.5 million tax exempt organizations received piece of that very generous pie. Another $6 – 27.4 trillion in bequests will be made from 1998-2052.
With the volume of charitable dollars available, loyalty to your organization goes right out the window if another charity (or charities) provides a better donor experience.
So, remember: the goal is to improve the donor experience. An improved donor experience will result in loyal lifetime donors who give generously, faithfully and happily.
It’s just that simple.
* * For more than 20 years, J. Milito & Associates has worked with organizations of all types from coast to coast to help Retain, Renew and Upgrade their donors. Let us help you improve the donor experience so you can raise more money for your mission and ministry. Contact us today for your free 30 minute consultation.