How To Nurture and Retain Your Donors

donors, retaining donors, nurture donors

Are you tired of the constant nag to fundraise more and find new donors? If you work in the nonprofit space, this is a pressure that everyone feels, so for starters, know you are not alone! It is incredibly challenging to successfully run a nonprofit and raise millions of dollars at the same time. 

The simple fact for many nonprofit organizations is that they rely on outside funding to do the work they do. Most organizations are continually looking for more funding, and this often looks like finding new donors. This is where nonprofits miss out on a lot of funding. They neglect their current donors and make the big mistake of not having a clear plan for retaining donors.

But this doesn’t have to be the reality for your organization. When you increase your donor retention, you will unlock one of the most powerful ways to grow and maintain your nonprofit organization. 

So, let’s dive in on how you can leverage donor retention and raise more money! 

How do you increase your donor retention? 

You nurture your donors. While it sounds like a simple and quick task, nurturing your donors takes great thought, planning, and time putting into place. To create a clear plan to retain donors, you need cohesive efforts from your marketing, funding, and operations departments.  

If you’re not quite sure what nurturing your donors looks like, not to worry! Keep reading as we will give you a 5 step plan on how to nurture and retain your donors. For now, you should know and understand that nurturing donors is the most effective way to increase their lifetime value to your organization.

Nurturing donors should be an important part of every organization’s fundraising strategy. Donor contributions make a tangible difference for organizations and their communities.

Donors who are not nurtured can become disinterested and take their money elsewhere because they don’t see how your organization will make a positive impact with it. Failing to nurture your donors can be detrimental to your organization’s survival.

How do you nurture your donors in order to retain them?

Nurturing donors requires time and intentionality because an organization-donor relationship involves a lot of communication. To retain and attract more donors, you need to improve how effectively and how often you communicate with your donors.

Here is a 5 step plan to nurture, retain, and raise more money with your donors:

  1. Position your donors as the heroes of your organization.
    • To learn more about positioning your donor as the hero, read this blog on the StoryBrand framework.
  2. Make sure your donors are informed.
    • Consistently remind your donors how programs are progressing as a result of their donations.
  3. Show donors their impact.
    • Be sure to publish an Impact Report and share it with your donors.
  4. Give donors a roadmap to increase their impact.
    • Remember, donors want to fund impactful organizations! Give them a clear plan on how they can become more involved with your organization.
  5. Call donors to action – tell them exactly what to do next.
    • You would be shocked how many organizations fail to call their donors to action. Don’t be one of them.

Nurturing donors is communicating the right things at the right time.

1. Position your donor as the hero of your organization.

Your donor’s generous support is invaluable and allows you to do the work you do. 

Therefore, your donor should be the hero of your nonprofit in all your communication with them. Too many nonprofits position themselves as the hero when speaking about all the work that the organization completes. Instead, you should speak of your donor as the hero by making statements like ‘Because of your generosity, we were able to complete x,y,z.’ It is truly because of your donors that your organization gets to continue its work, so let them know it! Let them feel the impact they create.  

Donors want to champion a cause and are looking for someone to do it with. If you make your donors your organization’s heroes, they will continue championing your cause. 

Even if it sounds redundant, let your donors know everything your organization is accomplishing as a result of their support. Your organization is the path your donors choose to take to become impact-makers. Help your donors understand and visualize how important they are to your organization. Make your donors the heroes of your non-profit.

2. Make sure your donors are informed.

One way to quickly lose donors is to not keep them informed of the activities and success that their funding makes possible. Donors should know the problems that their donations are helping to solve through your organization. 

Regularly communicate your organization’s operations and progress through storytelling with your donors. 

Nurture your donors with informative

  • weekly emails
  • monthly personalized videos
  • quarterly webinars or videos
  • and annual reports

Your emails, videos, webinars, and reports should quickly and clearly explain to donors how their donations create a positive impact. These days, everyone’s inbox is bombarded with information. So, ensure your communications are to the point, clear, scannable, and valuable.

Retain more of your donors by telling them precisely how their money is being used and what difference it is making. And start raising more money by informing your donors of the investment they are making in your organization with clear, informative, and consistent communication. 

3. Show donors their impact.

Think of your donors as investors. They are looking for a return on investment. In the nonprofit sector, this is known as a social return on investment or SROI, which is the impact created as a result of your nonprofit’s programs and services.

You should continually share your donor’s impact with them through regular communication. This can be done through short social media posts, adding impact to your website, emails, blogs, etc. But one of the most effective ways to share impact is through an impact report.

An Impact Report is an invaluable document that shares the short-term and long-term outcomes of your products and programs. Simply put, your impact is the change your organization creates, and your impact report will reflect that change.

More and more granting organizations and donors are requesting impact data before donating. If you need help creating an impact report, Social Impact Solutions is here to help.

4. Give donors a roadmap to increase their impact.

Many nonprofits make the mistake of simply telling donors what services or products they offer. This is not enough. If this is all you do, you will miss out on new donations and lose current funding. 

Communicate the power of a donation to make a meaningful impact through your nonprofit; donors want to be a part of that impact. 

Donors need to know what you need from them. Show them how they can become more involved with your organization.

Yes, your organization needs money. But your endgame should never be your nonprofit’s services or products. It should always be the impact you are creating for your stakeholders.

Give your donors a clear and straightforward roadmap to increasing their impact through your organization. Let your donors know exactly what services or products their donations are supporting, and just as important, if not more important, let them know what impact is being created because of those services or products. 

5. Call donors to action.

To you, it may seem simplistic to tell donors what your organization needs specifically. But how else will they know?

Don’t miss an opportunity to invite donors to the extraordinary impact your nonprofit is creating in the world. You cannot receive what you do not ask for. It’s that simple.

When you ask donors to support your organization, remember to

  • be clear,
  • be concise,
  • be confident.

This is not the time to be vague. Give your donors their next step to action. Invite your donors to be more than supporters of services or products. Tell them how to be positive impact creators with you.

Donor retention is a massively important metric for your nonprofit’s health.

Retaining donors ensures that your nonprofit has a strong and consistent base of support that can help you reach your impact goals. 

Start nurturing your donors so you can increase donor retention and raise more money. The longer you retain and increase your donor’s lifetime value, the more likely your organization is to grow and remain healthy.

Investing in donor retention is an investment in the future success of your nonprofit. If you want to raise more money by nurturing your donors, schedule a quick call today to get started!

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