5 Donor Retention Tips That Work like a Charm

thank you, tips, donor, non profit

Written by Tim Grable

February 25, 2017

Are you doing everything you can to keep your donors happy?

The success of any nonprofit organization depends on donors. However, when it comes to the fundraising business, the probability that a donor will make more than a single contribution to the same cause is minuscule. Don’t worry, there are things you can do to improve your chances

Here are 5 donor retention tips you can start using right away:

1. Make them feel special

If you do not want them to leave and never come back, then you need to make sure you let your contributors know just how important they are to your organization. There are some ways you can do this, depending on your organization and your donors, of course. For example:

  • You can invite them to one of your organization’s meetings and make them feel like their opinion matters.
  • You can give them a private tour of your nonprofit.
  • Plan a “Donor Appreciation Day” and show them exactly how their contributions have helped your cause.
  • Give them special seating at your fundraising events.
  • Let them know when something significant changes within your organization.

2. Survey your donors

Since we are talking about donor retention tips, this is one that you should try out.

Make an effort to find out what your donors think of your organization. Good communication is essential when it comes to holding on to donors. Ask them what kind of information they would like to get from you and how would they like to get it.

Also, always ask for their feedback after organizing a fundraising event. Even if something were not to their liking, they would feel better knowing you’ve taken their opinion into consideration. Thus, the chances of them attending a future event will substantially improve.

3. Get personal. This is one of the best donor retention tips

People are more likely to contribute to a particular cause if they feel personally connected to it.

One of the best donor retention tips is to invest time and effort in creating and sending personalized messages and information to your contributors so that they do not feel like they are just getting a receipt for their donations.

Your donors are looking for a meaningful relationship, not a one-off business transaction. The secret to keeping your donors is building a trust relationship with them.

4. Keep in touch

Creating an engaging Welcome Pack for donors and promptly sending handwritten “Thank you” letters are great ways to get your donor retention rate up.

5 Donor Retention Tips That Work like a Charm

Dave Goodman’s Flickr


You could also send story-focused newsletters that are plastered with information about the results you are achieving with their contributions. Do this a few times a year and you should start to see results.

5. Plan unforgettable fundraising events

Planning a fundraiser is the best chance you’ve got to engage with all of your donors and make them loyal to your organization. Engaging donors with in-person events will help you improve your retention rate more than any other strategy. So you should take full advantage of it.

Planning a memorable event will keep donors giving, and entertainment is a big part of any successful event. Having a performer or artist on stage can help you keep your guests entertained throughout the event.

Your donors will enjoy someone who is comfortable on stage and who can create excitement.

If that is something you want for your next fundraising event, then you should definitely contact us and find out more about our artists and how we can help you plan an event that your donors will always remember.

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