February 7, 2010

Focus on retention, first. Plaster “keep your donors” all over your office – maybe a flashing neon sign so you (and your boss and your board) don’t forget what’s most important.

Typically, it costs 10 times more money to acquire a new donor as it does to retain a current donor. So work hard to keep your current donors. It’s estimated that 8 out of 10 first-time donors don’t give a second gift. Wow. What does that say about us, the fundraisers and the organizations?

Just a bit more retention and you generate more money. Transitioning a first-time donor to a second-time giver begins the path to loyalty. Where do you put your attention and resources? Check out Adrian Sargeant’s research in his book Building Donor Loyalty. There’s your proof, if proof you need.

How do you retain donors? How do you build loyalty? Through relationship building. Want to improve your relationship-building program? It’s not really that hard. You can do it. Care enough and you can do it well. Get a copy of Keep Your Donors for lots of ideas, specific strategies, and good examples. Read Ken Burnett’s The Zen of Fundraising for more ideas.

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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