Are you looking at your donor retention rate? It seems like this is old hat in the field, but yet, it is such an important metric to be measuring in your development office. The question is, are you?
It is more expensive and difficult to obtain a new donor than it is to keep a loyal donor. Do you know that it costs an average of twenty cents per dollar raised to renew donors via direct mail? It costs about $1 to $1.25 to acquire a donor using that same method. That is five times more. And, on the converse, these new donors tend to give substantially less. It is much easier to upgrade an existing loyal donor to a higher level of giving.
Are you running regular donor retention reports to determine what your rate is? How does your donor retention rate compare to industry standards? How does your donor retention rate compare to organizations in your area? Is your rate going up, or is it going down? If it is going down, what steps are you taking?
Here are a few ideas to boost your retention rate:
- Consider decreasing the time required to send out an acknowledgment letter. Best practice is 24-48 hours.
- Call higher level donors and thank them for their gift or why not try calling everyone new.
- Send out a welcome package to new donors making them feel a part of the organization
- Send out regular updates either via email or printed news or both several times per year that are no solicitations.
- Report back to the donor what their gift was able to make possible.
- Develop a formal stewardship plan with donors of different giving levels getting different touches.
If you are not looking at donor retention, start. While donor acquisition is still important, you can’t overlook the importance of keeping your donors interested in your work and supporting your mission.
What ways are you keeping your donors happy, satisfied, and giving?
Here are some more great resources: