Donor retention is one of the most important things that keep nonprofit organizations going. The costs for obtaining continuous contributions are much less than going out to attract new ones. But are you doing all you should be to keep your donors in a giving mood?
Statistics show that most of the reasons donors leave are actually preventable and completely in the hands of the nonprofit. The Bloomerang Infographic provides a good outline of the most common reasons donors walk away from businesses. It might be a good idea to make sure you and your organization’s Board of Directors are familiar with these reasons and how they might be affecting your organizations funding.
5% of donors thought the charity did not need them. Are you doing all that you can to let your donors know just how important they are to your cause? Share with them just how they are helping others by giving through your organization, and make sure they know about your needs and how they can help.
8% of donors don’t know how their money was used. It is important to let your donors know how their donation has made a difference. Share the organization’s stories of success when funding goals are reached, new programs are started, new doors have been opened. Your success is also their success; let them know they played a part in getting you there.
9% have no memory of supporting. Just because someone gives your organization a contribution doesn’t mean they will voluntarily follow your progress from that day forward. Something has to set you apart in their mind from all of the other nonprofits out there. Make sure they will remember you, and give them a reason to come back.
13% never got thanked for donating. Failure to properly thank a donor for any gift, no matter the size, translates into “we don’t care” and “just send us money”. It is important to thank donors not only for monetary gifts, but also gifts of volunteered time, services, goods, anything that was given with the intent to do something good and kind should be acknowledged. Without each of those gifts, where would your organization be after all?
16% of donors have passed away. While there is nothing that the organization can do directly about this one, if you’ve done your due diligence while they were alive you may find their bequests or other planned gifts coming your way. If others know how much your nonprofit meant to that person they may even arrange for donations to be made to your cause in honor of that person rather than flowers or money being sent to the family.
18% received poor service or communication. The need for good customer service is the same no matter what kind of business you have. If someone has a complaint, a question, a concern, make sure it is addressed immediately and with respect. Listen to what your donors have to say and let them know you take their words seriously. Donor service is not a cost center, and good customer service can add tens or hundreds of thousands to your bottom line.
36% find other nonprofits to be more deserving. There are more than a million groups out there appealing to the public for support. If your organization isn’t stating its mission in a strong and powerful way that makes it stand out, you’re opening the door for other organizations with similar missions to attract your donors.
54% could no longer afford to give. Everybody experiences hiccups in their financial state at one time or another due to unexpected medical expenses, retirement, reductions in income, among other changes in life. But experience shows that organizations that make a strong case and provide good experiences usually avoid being cut from the list of groups donors will support amidst their change in financial status.
How is your organization handling these issues? Are you doing all that you can to ensure your donors stay on your side?