12 proven retention-boosters for fundraisers

Keeping your donors is better (easier, less expensive, more profitable) than getting new donors. That’s why retention is job #1 for most fundraisers most of the time.

Here’s a helpful post from the Bloomerang blog, The K.I.S.S. Method For Donor Retention Is Best For Most Nonprofits with some sure-fire ways to improve your donor retention:

  1. Personalize the thank-you letter to every donor.
  2. Send thank-you letter – out within 48 hours of gift being. (Much quicker online!)
  3. Call or text new donors.
  4. Send a handwritten thank-you note to new donors and/or donors whose gift is above your average gift amount.
  5. Segment your thank yous (by project, dollar amount, number of gifts, use of matching funds, etc.)
  6. Ensure the name(s) are correct and instructions are followed.
  7. Use 3 touch points for new donors in the first 90 days.
  8. Establish a communication plan with 1-2 other “touches” after the thank you letter/note/call within 90 days.
  9. Establish separate communication plans for recurring and legacy donors
  10. Create a game plan for donors about to lapse (a donor is considered lapsed at the one year anniversary of their most recent gift.
  11. Survey your donors within 90 days of the first gift then annually.
  12. Establish a proper method to handle incoming communications from donors.


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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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