According to the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, donor retention rates consistently hover at 45% or less. That means for every 100 new donors, 55 never return to make a second gift!
Donors have gotten more selective about the nonprofits they support. And they’ve also gotten better at tuning out messages that aren’t interesting.
So where does this leave your nonprofit? And how can you use social media to keep more first-time donors?
Here are three donor retention strategies to engage new and repeat donors:
1. Encourage new donors to share
Social media empowers donors to share stories about the causes they care about. If they care enough about yours to make a donation, they’ll care enough to share your campaign on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
One of the best places to promote sharing is on your “Thank You” pages. These are the first pages donors see after clicking “donate”, so the likelihood they’ll share the campaign is relatively high.
Make it clear that you want them to share the campaign, like Conservation International does in the example below.
2. Ask donors to share more than their wallet
No one would argue with the fact that your donors are passionate about your cause. Many times it’s personal. Maybe their mom died from a brain aneurysm, or maybe their sister has MS.
If you limit donor relationships to financial transactions, you limit the humanity of those relationships. Donor passion extends to sharing, volunteering, advocacy.
Ask donors to share their passions in a variety of ways. For example, you can ask them to share your blog posts, like No Kid Hungry does below.
3. Give props to fundraisers
In your next walkathon or peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, make recognition job #1. Bragging about your best fundraiser costs nothing. But it can have a huge impact on building support for your cause.
For example, Alex’s Lemonade Stand publicly praises fundraisers, regardless of how much they raise (as shown below).
This sort of strategy requires nothing more than building “acts of recognition” into donor communication plans.
Simple gets done
The key with these simple strategies is to test them out – to try them for at least a couple of weeks. Season to taste for your community and your donor retention strategy.