Donor retention rates declined from 50 percent in 2006 to less than 39 percent in 2013.
During this period, donors have gotten more selective about the nonprofits they support. And they've also gotten better at tuning out messages that aren't interesting.
At the same time, nonprofits organizations have gotten smarter about how they communicate with donors. Smart nonprofits use a multi-channel approach to keep their donors informed, engaged, and passionate.
So where does this leave your nonprofit? And how can you use social media to keep more first-time donors?
Here are three strategies that many smart nonprofits use to boost donor retention:
1. Connect with new donors
The more ways you can "reach and touch" your donor, the more likely you will retain that relationship. The explosive adoption of mobile technology and social media gives donors a variety of ways to stay connected to the causes they care about.
If snail mail is your only connection with a donor, you'll have a hard time keeping them as a donor. Instead, try and connect with your donors in every way possible (social, e-mail, text, direct mail). This way, they can read your e-mail newsletter AND share your blog posts with their Facebook friends.
Here's a tactic you can do right now: Convert new donors into fans and followers. The moment a new donor gives you money, immediately ask that person to connect with you on social media. Ask them on your thank you pages, in follow-up emails, or both!
2. Ask donors to share more than their wallet
No one would argue with the fact that donors give to you because they are passionate about your cause. And many times it's personal!
Limiting the terms of your relationship to financial transactions limits the potential of that relationship. Remember, donor passion goes way beyond financial support.
You can ask donors to share their passion in a variety of ways. You can ask them to post a selfie or some other type of photo. Or you can ask them to share your best blog posts with friends, like No Kid Hungry does below:
3. Give props to your fundraisers
In your next walkathon or peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, make recognition Job #1. Bragging about your best fundraiser costs nothing, but it can have a huge impact on building support for your cause.
For example, Alex's Lemonade Stand frequently recognizes fundraisers, regardless of how much they raise.
This sort of strategy requires nothing more than building "acts of recognition" into your donor communication plan.
JOHN HAYDON is one of the most sought-after nonprofit digital marketing experts, with a sincere passion for changing the world. He has spoken at the Nonprofit Technology Conference, New Media Expo, BBCon, Social Media 4 Nonprofits, AFP New Jersey, and several others. He is also the author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies and Facebook Marketing All-In-One (Wiley) and is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, Social Media Examiner, npEngage, and Razoo Foundation blogs.
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