Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Economy Got You Down? Focus on Retention.

A new study by Durham + Company, reported in the Chronicle of Philanthropy shows that the continuing BAD news on the economy is making donors more cautious about fall giving.

According to the study, "two-thirds of donors plan to cut back on charitable giving due to economic woes."  :(

This is BAD news for all of us, especially since we are heading into "year-end," the most important time of the year for charitable giving.

Unfortunately, there is nothing that you can do about the economy.

However, you can (and should) think carefully about your year-end fundraising approach.
  1. Be sure to stay in close contact with all of your donors and express your gratitude for their support.
  2. Be sure to be VERY CLEAR about how their hard earned dollars are making a difference in the world.
  3. Validate your donors' financial concerns AND make a solid case for why their support is still critical.
  4. Realize that retention is the name of the game.  
You know this, but it is SO much harder (and expensive) to acquire a new donor than it is to keep a current one.  Don't ignore acquisition but DO pump up your retention game

According to a survey by the Agitator, there are three key components to a great retention strategy.
  1. Employing a high quality acknowledgement and thank you process.
  2. Being willing to invest in non-donor communications.
  3. Making sure that the second 'ask' makes reference to the donor's initial giving preferences.
You can read more here.

What are your strategies for maximizing retention and winning in a down economy?

jocelyn

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Working in a nonprofit organization is tough and it’s not at all easy to get donations. I agree with you 100%. And it is absolutely necessary to keep your current donors. A number of companies work with NPOs as part of their core value. Like www.buyve.com works with a number of education based NPOs. To keep such firms is difficult especially in an economy that seems to be spiraling, however, it is what is required to continue doing what we’re doing. Excellent post!

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