Donor retention and donor attrition are all a part of every fundraising initiative. Social good brands dedicate almost a third of their funds towards bringing in new donors but it is better to retain your donors than going after the new ones. As per the Fundraising Effectiveness Report, Donor Retention has been stable at 43% while Donor Attrition has spiked to 57%.
What are Donor Retention and Donor Attrition?
Donor retention is a measure of how many donors you have retained over last campaign and who still continue to donate to your cause. For example, if you have had 100 donors donating for your social good brand during the last campaign of which 30 decide to donate again, it means that you have had 30% donor retention. Or the other way round would be, you have had 70% Donor Attrition.
Why should Social Good Brands give more importance to Donor Retention?
Donor Retention gives you far higher returns in terms of gift value and long term Donor loyalty.
Median Donor attrition for non-profits has been hovering around 50% for the last 10 years. This simply indicates that more than half of the donors decided not to gift again and switched over to another nonprofit. Think about it. New donors or prospective donors need to be educated and convinced a lot about your cause to motivate them to donate. Also, a majority of new donors do not donate again and decide to move on.
On the other hand, donors who have already donated, know about you and your cause. It is practically easier and less expensive to rekindle and nurture your relationship with them rather than devoting time and effort in starting afresh only to lose more than half of them again. This certainly does not mean that you shouldn’t pursue new donors, but it is important to keep your donors close at hand. To summarize, here are the reasons why Donor Retention needs to be given importance in the long run.
- To increase brand loyalty
- To spur word of mouth communications via happy donors
- To strengthen effectiveness of your campaigns and efforts
- Most important, to get higher value donations every single time
What Are Some Social Good Brands Doing to Retain their Donors?
More than rewards or perks, the thing that entices your donors the most is tax relaxation. Donors refrain from gifting to many organizations only due to the fact that many don’t give a tax certificate for the donations made. Greenpeace not only recognizes donations in this form but for periodic donors, they let you reduce your donation amount to a mere INR 100 if you find that you can’t afford to donate as much as you did before.
charity:water has always been a step ahead in being distinctive and innovative in everything they do. In a unique way of getting more donations as well inciting initiatives from long-term donors, charity:water lets you donate as less as $30 only to be joined by another donor who will pool in up to $100 for every donation you make. This brings donors to the comfort zone of being able to donate whatever little they can! As for long-term donors, charity:water allows you to create your fundraisers in every little way you can!
TOMS shoes, a for-profit raises funds through the shoes they make and donate a pair for every pair you buy. TOMS is very transparent about how the donations are utilized by showing where they donate and to whom. This is very crucial to instill trust among your donors, thereby making them donate to your cause again and fuel viral word of mouth promotion as well.
Donor retention has been a commonly ignored area among social good brands. Nurturing your donors indirectly spurs a lot of viral communication, which a social good brand needs, more than anything.