How do you keep loyal donors, they’re the ones who support you no matter what – they’re the people you can count on.

But, like any other donor, there’s always the risk they’ll move on.

What can you do to retain their loyalty and commitment to your cause?

Many non-profits expect a high attrition rate after a donors first support; in some cases this can be as high as 65%. That’s 65% of new donors walking away after their first donation; that’s a high percentage, so maintaining loyalty is important.

You need a compelling message, a clear reason why donors should stay with you and, remember it’s about the donor not you. Tell donors why they are important.

How you communicate with your donors can make or break loyalty, what does your message say about you? What does the way you speak, communicate with donors say about the way your organisations operates?

Show your donors why their help is needed, and how this can make a difference, right now.

Trust is what donors are looking for, trust in your organisation and trust in what you are saying. They need reassurance that what you are doing is making a difference, helps others and that the money they are giving is being used wisely.

Are you making it easy for donors to support and communicate with you? One of the biggest turn offs for donors is the way they are treated. If donors feel that they are being treated with indifference or your organisation doesn’t show that it cares about them they will likely walk away.

Another way to turn off donors, is to make it hard for them to support you.

We all like things in life to be easier than it perhaps is, and this is true also when it comes to charity support.

Make it easy for donors to make their donation, does your website make it easy for them? Can they make a regular donations direct from their wages, or by other direct methods?

Another key to keeping donor loyalty, is in building a relationship with them. A receipt for donations received is not building on a relationship, so you need to have other ways to communicate and engage with donors. Keep in mind too that it’s not one size fits all when it comes to communicating with donors.

Some donors will be happy to receive a letter in the mail, others would prefer an e-mail, and others would appreciate a phone call. What do your donors like?

If you’re only thinking about ROI when it comes to donor communication, stop, and instead think about the lifetime value of your donors.

Not sure where to start with your donor loyalty “programme”, look at all possibilities and set up some tests to see what works best, again one size won’t fit all situations and donors.

What are you doing to build donor loyalty? If you support charities, what makes you stick with the ones you support? Share your experiences below.

See also

Donor Retention

Regular Giving

Recognise Regular Donors

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