How to keep new donors

The first days after a first-time donor gives are critical. What you do then can help them stay with you for the long term — or drop off your list leaving nothing but negative net revenue.

The Bloomerang blog has some tips for getting it right in those first days after a first gift, at 5 Ways to Improve New Donor Retention:


  1. Their Retention Rises If a New Donor Feels Special
  2. Sending a Standard Thank You Letter is Only a Start
  3. New Donors Know What is Automated & What is Not (a phone call from a real person, or a handwritten note written by someone’s hand can work wonders for future donor retention)
  4. Some of the Gestures can be Achieved via Volunteers
  5. Building Donor Relationships is Just Like Personal Friendship Building

A sixth, and critical, thing you must do: Have clear and compelling calls to action that let donors see and feel how their giving matters and makes specific differences.

And the worst thing you can do, the thing most likely to make sure your relationship with a new donor never gets going: “Rest” the donor by delaying a subsequent ask.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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