In business, it’s easier to keep an old customer than it is to find a new one. The same idea holds true in nonprofits. It’s more cost effective and less work to retain existing donors than it is to find all new ones.
According to a survey by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, average donor retention for nonprofits in 2017 was 45%. That means for the typical nonprofit, 45% of donors who gave in the previous year gave again the next year. At that rate, a nonprofit would need to replace half its donors each year to keep up its donation levels.
So what can your nonprofit do to keep its donors from one year to the next? The answer lies in strong donor communications, supported by solid data stored in a database for nonprofits.
How a Database for Nonprofits Can Help You in Retaining Your Donors
Donors have a variety of reasons for choosing not to give or not to keep giving. Those reasons include poor communication from the nonprofit, not having received a thank-you for their previous gift, or thinking the nonprofit doesn’t need their support. A database for nonprofits can help address all those concerns. Here’s how:
- Improve Donor Communication: Good, consistent communication is the key to a successful relationship. Using non profit organization software lets you keep track of donations and your responses to them. You’ll be able to see new donations as they come in and send out thank-yous on time. Some software solutions allow you to collect and store communication preferences from donors, so you’ll know if they prefer to receive updates by email or regular mail.
- Know When to Make the Ask: A well-managed donor database with salesforce data integration should tell you when and how to make the ask for a repeat gift. When donors are coming up on the anniversary of an annual gift or are almost due for renewal, turn to your nonprofit database to find out who needs a reminder or a personal update about your organization’s recent accomplishments. Donors need to know their gifts are making an impact to be inspired to continue giving.
- Share Your Successes: Your donors only know what you tell them about your good work. It’s on you as a nonprofit leader to make sure that information makes it to them. Use a nonprofit database to pull updated contact information for your donors so you can send them regular newsletters, annual reports or personal notes about all the services your nonprofit provides.
Donor retention requires consistent, genuine communication. Using a nonprofit database can help inform and automate some of that work.
Non-Profit Organization Software to Help You Make Personalized Decisions
The right nonprofit software helps organizations make decisions about their donors and their organizational needs. Look for a database software that integrates with the tools you’re using for donor communication, data management and lead generation. A nonprofit software solution can help guide decisions including:
- Timing Your Campaigns: Use data to understand what messages inspire donors to give, and when.
- Reaching Out to Your Donors: Keep track of your past outreach and communication to know when it’s time to schedule a meeting with a potential repeat donor.
- Identifying Prospects: Dig into your database to find out when a donor is ready to move to the next giving level or become a sustaining supporter.
Using a database for nonprofits is a smart move for retaining your existing donors.