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Keep Your Donors

Three simple steps for engagement

One of the most important things you can do right now is to keep your donors -especially new donors. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, nonprofits are stretched thinner than ever while dealing with cuts in funding and other revenue losses. At the same time, many are faced with increased demand, particularly those in human services. Because donor support is critical in this time of crisis, nonprofits are working harder than ever to reach new donors and raise more money. While the need for donor support is growing, we know that donor attrition is high.

According to the Fundraising Effectiveness Project's 2019 Fourth Quarter Report, the 2019 YTD donor retention rate is 45 percent, and the rate for new donor retention is only 20 percent. This is not the time to let go of 80 percent of your new donors. We know that it costs less to retain and motivate existing donors versus the costs to acquire new donors. My advice is this: Don’t ignore your new donors -no matter the size of their gift!

A recent experience gave me greater insight into the donor’s perspective. During The Big Give, I made a gift to an organization to which I had not previously donated, and, as expected, I immediately received an email receipt from The Columbus Foundation. However, I have not received any kind of communication from the nonprofit. You might be surprised that I am talking about a large, well-respected organization. Will I give to them again? I like their mission, so, maybe. However, if they were small and if I was unfamiliar with them and how they were impacting the community, my answer would be, "no." Did any of your new donors who gave to you during the Big Give (or during your COVID-19 response campaign) have this experience? If so, here is some good news: it is not too late to do something about this—NOW!

Please select this link to read the complete blog post from Philanthropy Focus.

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