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How to Retain Donors Now

November 24, 2015
retain donors revenue

Finding repeated and recurring donation channels is often a challenge for nonprofit organizations. If you want to impact your cause not just once, but on a continual basis, you need a way to generate funds on a continual basis. Without an effective way to retain crucial revenue streams, it can create a fire drill to drive donations when there’s an urgent need or a critical gap.

The lack of retention can create unnecessary burdens on those trusted donors who always step up. Many charities are fortunate to have donors who say yes whenever they’re called. They provide help when you need it the most. Unfortunately, the frequency in your ask may create unforeseen problems. No matter how important the cause, these repeated requests create donor fatigue. defines donor fatigue “as a general weariness and diminished public response to requests for aid to needy people or donations to charitable causes.” It’s a malady which causes much suffering in the nonprofit world. Fatigue often plagues the donors who are too nice to complain about repeated requests. They believe in your cause so they won’t complain, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t left exasperated with every ask.

We believe donor fatigue results from charities not meeting their donors where they are and not making it easy for them to donate. Frequent asks for money leave sought-after donors frustrated, weary of repeated requests that make them feel like their gifts are never enough. Shift your strategy to find a cure for donor fatigue.

Here are three things you can do right now to retain your donors.

  1. 1.  Simplify Giving

Make it easier to give to your organization. Web-enabled platforms don’t go far enough. Have you ever tried to make an online donation on one of these pages with your phone? You better have your magnifying glass ready. It’s cumbersome and not user-friendly. When you have donors who are busy, they need giving to be easy. A mobile app can help you cut through that web clutter and enable donations in 30 seconds or less.

2. The Right Type of Communication

Donors want to know where their money goes and the impact it’s having, but they don’t want to be overburdened with expensive mailers and constant emails that they won’t have time to read.

Enabling a mobile app partnership can provide you with the ability to send push notifications to your donors. Those quick messages can help you promote corporate matches or urgent needs on a donor’s mobile phone. You don’t have to worry if they’ll open your email. The push notification will reach them on the device they likely have with them all times. When was the last time you were without your phone? Right, that’s our point.

3. Leverage Referrals

Because of the popularity of social networks, research continues to show that people are increasingly using recommendations from friends and colleagues to make decisions. When it comes to charities, people also are likely to show interest in causes their friends support. (ALS Challenge anyone?) This fact is especially true for millennials. An effective way to retain donors is to enable a referral network. Make it easy for them to promote the organizations they support socially. Your supporters should be able to make donations and then promote those donations with their social networks. Because these social networks are often accessed through mobile, your social sharing capabilities should also be mobile-enabled.

 The best way for your charity to retain donors is to make giving easier for them, simplify communications, and leverage the power of their network. Replace donor fatigue with donor-led energy that moves your cause in a forward direction.


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