7 things you can do now to keep donors on your file

Fundraising a combination of two activities:

  1. Getting donors.
  2. Keeping donors.

And #2 is where you become profitable. Here are seven important things you can do right now to improve donor retention, from The Agitator, at Seize This Moment:

  1. Clean up your addresses. The average mailing list has 11% undeliverable addresses. That’s a steep add-on price to pay, no matter how great your fundraising.
  2. Say “Thank You.” Thank donors powerfully and promptly. It’s an investment in the future of your relationship.
  3. Pick Up the Phone. Thanking donors by phone really boosts retention. Make it part of your program.
  4. Improve Your Donor Services. Make it easy for donors to reach knowledgable and helpful donor service people by phone, email, SMS.
  5. Be Boring. To yourself. Consistent messaging works, but you are going to get very tired of it long before donors really notice what you’re saying.
  6. Give Donors Lots of Opportunities to Talk Back. Ask for feedback. Field surveys. Be available and open all the time.
  7. Get Into Monthly Giving. Monthly donors stay with you longer. They also give more. Getting donors to give monthly is one of the top ways to make your fundraising sustainable and shock-proof.


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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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