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8 Ways Every Nonprofit Must Try to Retain Donors

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If you run a nonprofit, you know that running one without donors isn’t possible. Besides, you probably have heard about or experienced the importance of donor retention to a nonprofit. Donor retention refers to the number of donors that return to give to an organization each year.

Many nonprofit owners do not know how to retain donors for the long term. But then, it is vital to ensure finances keep flowing to help run an organization. There are essential strategies that can help you do that. This article will look into some crucial nonprofit donor retention strategies.

Let’s check them out.

1. Give a Good First Impression

First impressions are everything for every nonprofit. As a nonprofit owner, you need to make your donor’s first experience memorable to increase the chances of keeping them. It would help make your donation process smooth and fast so that donors look up to giving again.

You risk losing them on their first donation if they have a terrible experience. This is especially true if the donation process is confusing and takes a lot of time to complete. The best thing to do is to ensure that you optimize your donation pages by keeping them short and providing multiple donation channels. Optimize your donation page for the many different devices of varying screen sizes, i.e., mobile, tablet, PC.

2. Host Donor Stewardship Events

There are several ways to market a nonprofit. One that will help you attract more donors to your nonprofit is hosting donor stewardship events for your existing donors. Besides bringing all your supporters together, hosting stewardship events is a great strategy used in marketing for nonprofits.

Stewardship events are a better option because they bring people together. You can interact with donors in person and stream these events on social platforms to attract more donors.

3. Invest in Technology

Another essential thing to do as a nonprofit is to embrace technology. There are several tech tools that you can use to enhance your nonprofit’s performance and productivity. For example, CRM software manages the relationship between you and your constituents, such as donors, volunteers, and members. This centralized database helps your organization attract and retain members willing to support the organization financially or through volunteer work.

Most technology tools as well provide email functionalities. Thus, you will be doing most of your day-to-day operations from a central point. This will help improve the organization and enhance efficiency.

nonprofit donor membership program

Source: Pixabay

4. Create a Donor Membership Program

An ideal donor retention plan needs to include a membership program. It is worth considering if you have not yet set up one for your donors. A membership program motivates donors to support your cause. You give incentives and special perks through it, and that would attract more donations.

You can build a robust community of donors through a membership program. Being a community of like-minded individuals, members of your donor program aim at the same goal. This makes it easy to get the donors to stick to supporting your nonprofit’s cause for many years.

5. Communicate Effectively

Communication is an essential thing in every sector. For nonprofits to maintain a good donor database, they need to keep constant communication with their donors. According to research, 53% of donors have said that poor communication is the biggest reason why they stop supporting nonprofits.

It is crucial to reach out to donors even when they aren’t giving. There are several reasons why donors may. It is essential to reach out to donors even when they aren’t giving. There are several reasons why donors may stop giving to your cause. Some could be personal or family reasons. It can be easy to find out why they no longer support your cause and get them back if you keep in touch. Develop a communications strategy to proactively cultivate relationships with new donors and steward current donors to maximize donor retention and engagement. Email marketing works well with potential and current donors to keep them informed and to build the relationship.

6. Create a Feedback Loop

Feedback is an essential factor for nonprofits looking to retain donors. Without it, you cannot know if donors are experiencing any problems when interacting with your organization. Your donors realize that you care about them when you ask them questions about your organization’s performance.

You can also provide several feedback channels for your donors. They can send feedback through your nonprofit’s website, email, social media, and mobile. Providing donors with a wide range of options to engage with you gives you a better chance of meeting their needs and getting every piece of feedback needed for improvement. 

7. Follow up With Them

As mentioned earlier, donors sometimes stop giving to an organization. The best way to keep them engaged in your nonprofit or cause even when they aren’t giving is by following them up. Tailored messages to individual donor groups will make your messages more relevant, personal and increases the likelyhood of them reading them.

Remember, even nonprofit marketing cannot target an entire market. It would be best to target a specific audience, donors, in this case, to attract their attention. Repeat the same during follow-ups by checking their donor history and communicating in a way that they’ll relate with easily. Personalization allows every donor to feel as though you’re talking directly to them.

Source: Pixabay

8. Be a Donor Manager

The best way to keep donors happy is to treat them like your staff. You need to ensure that they feel as close to your organization and the work you do as possible. The best way to do it is to build a solid relationship with them. Keep them updated about your successes, struggles, etc.


When fundraising, you need to also be straightforward with your asks. The fact that they believe in your organization and its cause is evidence enough that they are willing to support you to the end. Thus, it would be best to tell them what you need and how you want it given. Do not beg; be an authoritative manager.

Those are some of the strategies you need to put in when looking to retain donors. Nonprofit marketing can be tedious, so no one wants to lose donors soon after getting them. A good nonprofit marketing strategy focuses on acquiring donors and how you can retain them for the long term.

The strategies discussed above will work for any nonprofit. Both small and big nonprofits can infuse these tips into their marketing strategies and get the desired results. In the end, the aim should be to retain as many donors as possible and ensure your nonprofit has enough finances every year.