6 ways to keep your donors

Most of the donors you get never give a second time. It’s a painful and expensive fact of life, but you aren’t completely helpless. There are things you can do to keep those donors … and retention is the foundation of a working fundraising program.

Here’s some help from the GuideStar Blog, at Donor Retention: 6 Ways to Create Lasting Relationships:

  1. Decide if building a relationship even makes sense. Not every donor is worth the extra effort (cost) of building a relationship. Very low-dollar donors and most peer-to-peer and memorial donors are less likely to respond to anything you do to connect.
  2. Start donor engagement early in a relationship. Speed matters. Make sure you start thanking within minutes online and with 24 hours off.
  3. Understand the donors’ perspectives. Listen and learn through questionnaires and surveys.
  4. Provide plenty of opportunities for engagement. Make it easy for them to be involved in ways beyond giving.
  5. Practice listening to your donors. Try a supporter connection survey.
  6. Remain transparent as an organization. Be open about your accounting and other practices. Most donors never check it out, but many want to be able to.


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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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