Why is this important?Across the industry, we are seeing donor retention rates plummet. 80% of gifts are lost between the first and second gifts and overall retention has dropped to as low as 28% in 2017. Donors are making it known that nonprofits can no longer take them for granted, with some studies citing that 53% of lapsed donors cite poor communication as the primary reason they no longer support an organization’s mission. The answer to retention is to focus on better messaging that is centered on the donor, not the organization. Yet where does an organization start in order to tackle this problem?
How to organize your resourcesMany nonprofits miss some critical steps when preparing for either an annual campaign or a major expansion of services that need to be funded through donations. There needs to be a solid foundation that is established before any revenue initiative is started and there’s six steps that we have identified on where to begin:
- Set the foundation – review last year’s campaigns and use that data to set a benchmark
- Create an action plan – identify key team members, budgets, and timelines that need to be involved through the entire campaign, not just the beginning and end
- Put it into focus – create a donor focused theme that ties all messaging together
- Know your audience – segment your lists, with giving data being used as a starting point
- Craft the ask – dust off those mail merge skills and make it personal
- Follow through – it isn’t just about obtaining the gift but about long term relationship building