Tips to Preserving Donor Loyalty

In the nonprofit industry, it’s logical to say that one of the most important aspects of success are donors who contribute money to the organizations.  In order to obtain funding that will inevitably finance an organization’s overall mission, it is essential to have a source that will provide constant support. Often times, organizations will see donors make one-time donations and disappear for good; In an article written by Nonprofit Hub, Mark Koenig Donor Loyaltyclaims that a majority of organizations expect to lose over 60% of their donors after the first contribution. With that said, there are many steps that a nonprofit can take to assure that they sustain ongoing support (donor loyalty) from the donors who make their goals possible.

Strategies to Improving Donor Loyalty

According to Nonprofit Hub, one of the first donor-retention strategies to consider is crafting a compelling message, which is a simple yet reassuring way to grab the attention of current donors.  The best way to create a lasting message is to use specificity, which means that the message should closely relate to donors’ values; let them know specifically why you seek their help, followed by examples of how their personal contribution has supported the cause. For example, a post from featured a photo of volunteers installing a well in the poverty-stricken nation of Ghana; this provides assurance that donor’s contributions are going a long way in helping the less fortunate.

Another way to increase donor loyalty is to gain their trust, which can often be the deciding factor on whether a one-time donor wants to become a long-term donor.  By earning someone’s trust, it means that the organization has proven their dedication to achieving their goals and making a difference in the community. According to Nonprofit Hub, one way a nonprofit can create a trustworthy image is to have your nonprofit represented by a respected figure in society.  For instance, the “EB Research Partnership” created a video campaign featuring Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), who is a well known figure in the music industry and is respected for his dedication to helping others. The video campaign shared the story of three specific patients who were living with EB, which is a skin condition that is caused by a lack of Donor Loyalty Tacticproteins that binds layers of skin together. By showing a highly reputable person such as Eddie Vedder serving as a spokesperson, it helps generate a strong credibility for the EB Research Partnership.

Although many donors feel a sense of comfort knowing that their contributions are going to a good cause, sometimes their motivation to continue donating can be fueled by allowing them to see it firsthand.  According to NonProfit Pro, Bridget Brandt claims that getting donors involved with the cause can be a great way to increase their loyalty.  By bringing them to the locations that are being affected by donations, contributors have the chance to communicate with volunteers and benefactors to help them learn more about what exactly their money is being used on, along with the stories that feed into the mission of the organization.  Greater involvement can also generate a “look what I’m doing to help” type of mentality, which can also lead to word-of-mouth and the potential for new donors.  In addition to feeling more Donor Loyaltyinvolved, donors will also feel more appreciated by the organization, given the idea that they were invited to see the efforts in-person.
In conclusion, the establishment of donor loyalty is a defining step in the future success of a nonprofit’s fundraising revenue.  Not only because it makes the organization’s’ mission more achievable, it helps create a closer relationship between the nonprofit and the donor, which in turn can create greater opportunities for acquiring new volunteers and new donors.  According to npENGAGE, “A 10% increase in donor retention can increase the lifetime value of your donor database by 200%.” So even when an organization struggles to keep a majority of it’s donors, there is still an opportunity to have the minority of repeat-donors make a lasting difference.


Suggested Reading

  • Nonprofit Hub | 5 Simple Rules to Increase Donor Loyalty
  • npEngage | One Thing Most Nonprofits Stink At (Donor Retention) and How You Can Change That
  • Nonprofit Pro | 10 Things Every Organization Should Do to Enhance Donor Loyalty

Jonathan Pigeon

My Name is Jonathan Pigeon; I am a Penn State Graduate with a degree in Communications/Media Studies and a Minor in Business. I am currently a Marketing Intern for YOakley PR.

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