Donor Retention

Donor retention is critical.  If you strip away all the strategy, planning and execution involved in fundraising there is really only three ways to raise more money.

  • Asking existing donors for more money
  • Asking existing donors more often
  • Finding new donors

Now that’s overly simple of course but one thing is true.   Two of the three ways to raise more money are simply impossible if you’re not retaining donors.

All too often charities who aren’t retaining donors tend to gravitate towards more donor acquisition.   Which is the very definition of the leaky bucket we’ve all seen and heard about.

If you’re not retaining donors no amount of donor acquisition can lead you to more revenue.  It’s just impossible.

Donor retention does however start at the point of acquisition.  Those initial interactions can set the tone for your ongoing relationship.   It’s the donor/charity equivalent of a first date and you really can’t make a good impression the second time.

At Synergy we believe donor retention is primarily built upon incredible experiences.   If you don’t feel that your supporters are constantly surprised and delighted with the interactions they have with your cause please get in touch by clicking here. I’m sure we can help you.

The initial relationship between you and your supporters are so important.   It can take weeks, months and even years to steward a supporter to a state of such engagement that they rave about you and your work to family and friends.

Sadly, the reverse is also true.  It can all be thrown away by a single mistake or two.

After all you probably don’t have the budgets of big business or have teams of 30-40 people employed to retain your donors – it’s probably you and a few colleagues at the coal face.

The best way to ensure you’re constantly delighting donors is to have a robust approach to every donor interaction.   One of the best ways to make that happen is to map out an informative, inspiring, fun donor journey for all of your supporters.

How? Create experiences based on potentially hundreds of unique identifiers that help you figure out what makes a supporter tick.

How you should communicate to donors can vary based on their acquisition source, where they live, what they’re motivated by, their beliefs etc.

It could also differ based on their stage of life, age, whether they have children or not.   For that reason, we encourage charities to collect around 60 basic pieces of information about every single supporter.

Some are personal, some are behavioural, and some are transactional.   Together they generate the path forward for successful donor stewardship.

If you want to learn more about our approach on donor and retaining more donors the Synergy way, please get in touch by clicking here.