5 Steps to Build Donor Loyalty & Retention in 2023

We’re having some fun with donor retention today.

We do know that donor retention = donor loyalty, right?

So donor retention is the name of the game for the coming year, and beyond.

And your ultimate goal as a fundraiser is to build up a cadre of high value, high commitment donors, right?

To help you, here are 5 simple, doable, practical, and wildly important tips that can help you increase YOUR donor loyalty:

  1. Educate everyone in your organization about why Donor Loyalty is so important.

The whole concept of donor retention and attrition is new to many people.

You need to start by educating your colleagues and board members.

Run the numbers for everyone and show them how even small increases in donor retention can yield up to a 200% increase in giving over time.

  1. Create a Donor Loyalty Program with communications every month.

You need a full-fledged “program” of donor loyalty initiatives.

Call it a program – make it real for everyone.

This is a deliberate set of strategies with a calendar, a planned set of activities and communications, and a financial goal tied to the program.

Why not adopt #donorlove as an organizational manifesto?

  1. Pay attention to WHAT you are sending your donors.

Donor retention Guru Roger Craver recommends that you communicate this way:

– show them the impact of their money

– make the donor feel like they are part of an important cause

– send information about how is being helped and how

This seems so simple but it’s hard to get it right!

  1. Pay attention to HOW you are communicating with your donors.

What’s your tone? How often do you get in touch? How responsive are you?

You can build a donor’s trust by being consistent and reliable when you communicate with her.

Give your donor a chance to send you feedback.

Ask for their input or opinion, even in a survey.

  1. Ask your donors to tell you their story of why they are giving.

I love, love this approach. For all donors – large or small.

When you ask your donor for her story, you’ll see her eyes light up and her smile glow.

She’ll be so grateful to you that you actually asked.

We spend so much time talking “at” donors that we don’t really invite them to talk “back” at us!

Bottom Line: Create a smart Donor Loyalty Plan for your donors.

And then watch your donor retention rise!