Losing weight is hard. But losing donors is as easy as doing your little sister’s nursery homework. We assume you had a donor, since now you’re asking how you lost them! So let’s review where you went wrong in your donor retention strategy, shall we?
1. Did you say “Thank You”?
You know how Ted (from how I met your mother) thought he was allergic to not saying Thank You? That was what his mom told him all his life! We all learnt it too, albeit in a more usual way, how to show our gratitude when someone does something for you, says something nice, or helps you in any way. It’s the same with a donor for your organisation. Donors are there to help build up any organisation and it is very important to show one’s gratitude. A simple “thank you mail” would suffice! We know that it is a painstaking process to thank each donor of yours. So what if, every online donation triggers a personalized thank you email by itself? And for every cash/cheque/NEFT donation, you just need to press a button to trigger a thank you note. Technology has made it extremely easy to do so. To know more about this, do get in touch.
2. Did you make the process easy?
It’s the twenty first century and no one has any free time (at least that’s what everyone likes to say!). We are used to getting things at one click and that is what we expect. Do not keep redirecting the prospective and current donors from one page to another. Chances are, they’ll just close the tab altogether after two pages. Make it easier and quicker, and you’ll retain your donors (and get new ones!) Efficient planning is of the essence. Why not integrate a donation plugin to your website? Something which takes care of also generating thank you emails and tax-exemption receipts? Check out how CERDS and Vardhishnu are doing this seamlessly.
3. Did you make it look personalised?
Practically, it is not possible to write a fresh mail for every donor, but the illusion of it doesn’t hurt! We college students hate those “class is rescheduled mails” which have the wrong date! It leads to a lot of chaos, but in case of your donor, it shows a lack of interest. Try to avoid lousy email mistakes, like, for instance, change the year from an old mail when required. It gives off a bad vibe if you send something in 2017, labelled 2015. Not cool! It is even worse when you don’t get their names right. Ouch! Showing that you care, will be helpful in the long run! To avoid such mistakes, go for a smart and evolved solution, which sets itself up in minutes, with no manual interventions and hence no manual errors.
4. Did you make it more accessible?
It might seem like the same thing as point 2, but not really. It is one thing to redirect to different pages once they know about it, (and annoy them in the process), and it’s completely different when they do not know about it at all! Make yourself available, share posts, call up prospective donors, emails and campaigns, and update your website- for starters. Let people know that you are looking for donors, as it is the step 1 to finding donors for your organisation.
5. Did you antagonise a community or certain people?
That’s a big no in any public sphere where you need favours! If anytime you post political views or strong personal opinions in your organisation website or related pages in any forum; it taints the image of the organisation! We all have private opinions, but those are for personal platforms. Try and keep your work free from your private influence, because certain points may hurt the goodwill of the organisation as a whole, and drive away donors.
6. Did you report the donor on how his money was utilised?
Every donor wants to know if his money was utilised in betterment of the society! It makes them feel involved and useful. So informing them of the latest developments, the statistics and success stories which were possible by their new donations is a good way of retaining them. Use a transparent donor communication mechanism and dashboard to accomplish this. Get in touch with us to know more!
7. Did you mail them back?
Replying to emails is a common courtesy, especially to someone as valuable as a donor! Even when someone donates anonymously, they feel better when they know they are doing well. Do not leave their emails without responding. If they have any query that means they are expressing interest, and if you want to work with them and retain them in the process, you have to reciprocate the enthusiasm.
8. Did you seem too needy?
It does not make a romantic relationship last, neither does it help the organisation and donor relationships! Do not ask for donations too often or too much at a time. Always acknowledge their last donation, before plying them for more. They want to feel appreciated, not treated as an ATM machine!
9. Nudge them on their special days
Birthdays, anniversaries etc. when they have a higher chance of doing good and giving back. You must be wondering that it is a herculean task to set up calendar reminders and personalize each email. The world is moving to ‘smart’ and you should too. Imagine your system automatically sending beautiful, well-framed and personalized wishes with a call to contribution! To know how to not miss the special days of your givers, ask us.
The bottom line is BE NICE! They are people who want to help and you are someone who needs help. It is important you give them their deserved respect. The key to donor loyalty is being loyal to your donors.
We all need a little help along the way, and what better way to do that than to ask for help! We are there for you 🙂