If you’re in the fundraiser or nonprofit sector, you’ve likely heard the term “donor retention.” But what is donor retention? And why is it important?

Quite simply, donor retention is a measure of how many donors continue to donate to your organization. Nonprofits with a high donor retention rate have long-term supporters who come back every year. Nonprofits with a low donor retention rate need to continuously acquire new donors or larger donations to keep up.

The acquisition of a new donor can be costly. That’s why donor retention is important.

Every nonprofit will experience some level of donor attrition, but seeking new donors to combat the losses is not the best approach.

Here are three suggestions on how you can improve your donor retention:

Make your donor’s experience as meaningful as possible.

Research shows that donor 10% of donor retention can raise the lifetime value of a nonprofit’s donor database by 200%.

The donor’s experience with the donation process can greatly affect whether or not the donor decides to donate again. If your donation process isn’t an experience donors want to repeat, they’re likely not going to return.

To help create a positive experience for your donors, outline a strategy that answers important questions, such as:

What happens when someone donates?
Are the materials we’re sending donors impactful?
What information are you trying to learn from donors?
How will you recognize your donors?

Make Giving Easy and Impactful

If your online donation experiences are needlessly complex, slow, confusing, unclear, and not mobile-friendly you could possibly be losing money. Period.

But there’s an additional step to make: The donation process should show the impact the donor’s about to make. You can provide this information in the cart area.

As a donor, nothing is worse than feeling like your donation has disappeared into the abyss. After responding to an appeal, donors are too often left wondering how their money is being used and whether it will actually have an impact. And when you don’t know how your money is being used, you won’t be motivated to keep giving.

Here are a few ways to demonstrate your impact to your donors:
– Include impact stories in your newsletter
-Use social media to document live impact stories
-Provide quarterly, biannual or annual reports

Make Plan For Personal Thank-Yous

Donors expect the usual auto-receipt. However, try stepping up your communications to show donors they mean much more to you than just a transaction. Add a personalized touch to your follow-up messages to really make your donors feel appreciated.

So, if you haven’t already, sit down with your team and craft a detailed donor thank-you plan that takes advantages of all of your resources and channels.

When all is said and done, if you’re focused on the right part of the donor journey, make the donation process as simple as possible, and get creative with your gratitude, we’re confident you’ll see your donor retention rate blow up.

These steps, provide an excellent place to start. Round up your team and continue to brainstorm ideas to buff up your organization’s donor retention strategies. You know your donors best, so tailor your communications accordingly and strengthen those relationships!