Donor retention keeps falling – what to do about it

Donor retention was down again last year. It’s part of a steady downward trend that’s been going on for the past decade. What’s going on? There are four possible reasons for donors’ increasing lack of loyalty:

  1. Completing the story in fundraising appeals – which leaves the donor out.
  2. Using safe, euphemistic language that doesn’t inspire anybody.
  3. Pairing a dire headline with a smiling face, sending mixed signals to donors.
  4. Sending out boring thank you letters.

See more about each of each of these problems – and their solutions – in my guest post for Guidestar blog.

Each of these can be addressed in the communications that donors receive. When retention drops, charities are forced to spend more on acquisition. And because it costs much more to acquire a donor than to retain one, charities end up spending more and more just to keep a sustainable donor base. It’s unfortunate, because donors want to give and will give if the opportunity is presented to them in the right way. See more here.

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