4 Steps to Donor Retention After #GivingTuesday

Sara Leonard News, Stories

Across the Tampa Bay area, nonprofits got the word out on ways to support their worthy missions at the end of 2013. I was greatly impressed by the efforts I saw. How impactful was it? We can’t be sure but we are trying to gather data that will help us measure the impact and also improve on our efforts for 2014 (Giving Tuesday will be December 2 – mark your calendars now!).

So what to do with the new donors you recruited through #GivingTuesday? The simple answer is: RETAIN THEM. Did that seem obvious?

Here are some tips to get you started on the right foot for retaining those donors:

1. Send a thank you. You should have already but better late than never. If you haven’t sent personalized thank you letters for every year-end gift, stop reading this blog and go get that done. Come back when you finish because I’ve got more tips.

2. Share the impact of the gift with the donor. When you asked for support, what did you say you were going to do with the gift? Did you do it? Are you still doing it? Start sharing that through words and pictures. Social media is a great place to share your organization’s touching stories.

3. Invite them in. Plan an event that allows your new (and not-so-new) donors to see the impact of your work. Have an open house or lunch and learn program that will bring your mission to life for your donors. If your organization has limitations to inviting people in, take the message out to them.

4. Carefully schedule the next ask. Don’t just dump those new donors into whatever appeal is going out next, stop and review what you’ve done on the above points first. If you haven’t properly thanked and stewarded year-end donors, it’s too early to ask them to give again.

These donor retention tips don’t apply only to #GivingTuesday or year-end donors. They should be a part of your development operations. I recently read a blog by Jay Love, CEO at Bloomerang, with tips on using the Donor Bill of Rights to increase donor retention. I think he is onto something. What do you think?