5 signs you’re telling your donors to go away

A large majority of first-time donors will never give a second time. You went to all that trouble and expense to bring them on board — for nothing.

This is one of the central forms of disfunction in fundraising. It’s a factor we should constantly work on.

Here’s a post from Wired Impact focusing on things that often go wrong when donors give on line, at Why Donors Stop Giving: 5 Red Flags in Your Post-Donation Process:

  1. Your donation experience is purely transactional. Treat each donation as a relational exchange, not just a monetary transaction. Don’t just tell them their donation is completed — thank them. Immediately. With heart. Often.
  2. There’s a lack of immediate donation follow-up. There should be an immediate thank-you page for online donations. And a thank you email right away. And a paper acknowledgement sent within 24 hours. And a phone call. Many donors are hesitant to give because they think their donation is unimportant. Don’t let that feeling fester!
  3. Donors don’t receive updated reporting on the outcomes. Do they know that their donation actually makes a difference? They don’t unless you tell them!
  4. They don’t get plugged into the donor (and larger) community. Let them know they’ve joined a community — even a family — by giving.
  5. Donors develop privacy concerns about their personal information. Treat their information as the precious treasure it is.


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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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