Donor Retention & Upgrading
Did you know that Individual donors account for 72% of all giving? Just think of how much more you could raise if you could retain and upgrade all of your donors. The sky is the limit! It is essential that you take the necessary steps to not only keep your donors but to encourage them to give more.
How to Retain Your Donors
Your current donors are your low-hanging fruit, your easiest targets. You already know they are invested in your cause and they care about your mission. However, if you don’t handle them correctly, they could very easily take their donations elsewhere. Here’s how to keep them:
Organize a call unit to make phone calls to thank them for their past donations. Mention how grateful your organization is for their support in each appeal letter. Make sure they feel special and valued.
Tell them how they made a difference.
What did you do with the last gift your donor sent you? Did it pay for 10 children to attend camp? Buy food for 20 families? Sharing the tremendous impact that your donor made on the lives of others will not only make them feel good about their last gift, it will make them eager to give again!
How to Upgrade Your Donors
A sure way to raise more money for your cause without even having to find more donors is to get your current donors to give more. Some donors tend to send the same check year after year, while others may jump around based on their personal situation. Here are a few ideas for getting them to upgrade:
Suggested giving levels
How will your donor ever know that you could really use $150 instead of the $100 they’ve been sending every year? Simply suggesting a higher gift amount is sure to get your donor to at least consider upgrading. As long as it is done respectfully and thoughtfully, you’ll never offend a donor by suggesting a higher gift amount.
Use specific data
Use specific numbers, goals, and costs when suggesting a donor increase their gift. Tell them why you need it and what it will do. Justify your ask.
The most important thing you can do to upgrade your donors is develop a good moves management program. Look through your donor data and chart out who you plan to upgrade and how you plan to get there. Then, of course, make sure you follow your plan!
How to Handle Downgrades
Some donors are going to downgrade. That’s life. Maybe they were hit with unexpected bills, a job change, or felt like they needed to spend more of their donation dollars somewhere else. Regarding these donors with care and respect is vital. Don’t lose these donors!
Form a recognition society based on longevity of giving. This will make your donors realize that they are still important to you. They’ll want to keep on giving to stay in the “club.”
Keep the lines of communication open. Make sure they are still receiving information about your programs and the impact of their donation. You could even explore other methods of giving from in-kind gifts to planned giving.