How to improve your donor retention

There are a lot of specific things you can do to improve donor retention. The most important is do great fundraising. That will do the most.

But there’s more, including 4 Donor Retention Strategies You Haven’t Thought Of, from Get Fully Funded:

  1. Give donors choices. (Everything from how much they give to how you’ll communicate with them.)
  2. Let donors pay in their own way. (Check, credit card, even PayPal.)
  3. Show donors their impact. (Donor-focused newsletters is the place to start!)
  4. Build your nonprofit’s brand. (That is, make their dealings with you good and memorable experiences.)

To these, I’ll add a few more retention-building activities:

  • Great fundraising offers that are specific and thrilling.
  • Speedy acknowledgements of gifts.
  • Elaborately wonderful ways of saying thank you.
  • Specific attention paid to first-year donors. (Get that critical second gift!)


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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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