strategies for sustainable funding
Track Your Donor Retention Rate and Discuss it Regularly with your Board
A 10% upward change in donor retention
can DOUBLE the LIFETIME value
of donor giving.
If your Board and staff are constantly talking about how to get new donors instead of how to steward current donors, it's definitely time to adjust your strategy and start tracking donor retention.
To calculate your donor retention rate, obtain the donor count from 2 consecutive years (this is number of unique donors, not number of donations). Then,
Engage Board Members in Stewardship
Personal contact goes a long way toward deepening donor commitment.
You need to think of stewardship as a part of fundraising, something that is the responsibility of all board members.
Since many board members are uncomfortable with traditional fundraising, i.e. asking for money, engaging them in thank you calls and thank you notes is a perfect way to involve board members in fundraising. Remember, it's fundraising for the long-term, not necessarily the immediate.
Making a thank you phone call to a first-time donor is a great way for a board member to hear first-hand why someone chose to give to your organization. Talking to long-term and major donors will give board members even more insight into what it takes to gain greater commitment from donors.
Get your board involved! It's a great investment of a small amount of time.
Establish "Doable" Stewardship Practices to Support your Retention Goal
The average nonprofit has a 60-70% chance of getting additional contributions from existing donors and less than a 2% chance of receiving a gift from a prospect.
Need we say more?! Build relationships with your current donors, it is the best use of time and energy to turn current donors into long-term supporters. Some basic stewardship practices include:
Offer a Monthly Giving Program
An investment of time and resources to establish a vibrant monthly giving program
will yield the holy grail of recurring income for years after its implementation.
Monthly giving programs not only increase lifetime value of each participating donor, but create strong donor loyalty and high donor retention rates. If your nonprofit doesn’t have one, this should be at the top of your list for building sustainable funding. These giving programs are vital because: