You work hard all year to secure new donors and keep current donors happy and engaged. When a reliable donor stops giving, it can be easy to take it personally. Identifying the reasons donors leave is the first step in retaining them.
Guidestar recently published an infographic on why donors leave (compared to why customers leave a business).
5%—Thought the charity didn’t need them.
8%—No information on how monies were used.
9%—No memory of supporting.
13%—Never got thanked for donating.
18%—Poor service or communication.
36%—Others more deserving.
54%—Could no longer afford.
So, what does a sappy greeting card holiday have to do with fundraising? The secret to a long and happy relationship with your donors may have more to do with Valentine’s Day than you think.
Just like a romantic relationship, we need to show our donors that we appreciate what they do, that they have value to the organization and that we notice them.
In the midst of cuts in government funding to nonprofits and greater competition for funding among community service organizations, a great opportunity is available for businesses to step in and help.
As a business leader in your community, you may be wondering what you can do to help your local nonprofits. Businesses can provide many resources for their nonprofit neighbors. Offer to use your business know-how to consult for the nonprofit closest to your heart. Is your expertise marketing? Offer to review their marketing plan or train a staff member on social media. You can serve as an advocate for the nonprofit of your choice by using your business as the mouthpiece.
While some aspects of fundraising won’t and shouldn’t change, such as building relationships with current and prospective donors, it may be time for some others to head a new direction.
For the past couple of years, the donor trend has been that they no longer give out of obligation, as the Greatest Generation did, they want to see impact. So, show them results! Beef up your marketing budget if necessary and invest in top of the line collateral that shows impact. Tell your story, use pictures, share numbers. The money will be well spent.
As part of your effort to show impact, be sure to tell your donors where their money went, exactly. Did $52 of their donation allow an elderly person to achieve independence by providing needed medical equipment? Will $168 buy three hot meals a day for a homeless family for a week? Tell them exactly how their donation breaks down and who it impacted. Tell your story with pictures of through video featured on social media.
The women of the Baby Boomer generation are today’s largest donors. Invest your time and effort with these women. They have ideas, they have a heart for your mission and they have the funds to support you. Pay attention to them.
In 2014 it is likely that your nonprofit had already ventured into the ever-growing world of social media. If your organization has mastered Facebook and Twitter, rest assured, you have only begun to take hold of all that social media has to offer. As we step into 2015 it’s time to take your social media a step or two farther.
Consider starting a blog. The blog can share anything from a day in the life of those you serve to important information that your donors could use in every day life. Your blog can help boost the rest of your social media plan as you share your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter. A blog allows you to share more information than a reader might be willing to read in a simple FB post.