5 Keys to Grow and Retain Your Online Donor File

In the upcoming December issue of FundRaising Success, our cover story explores how KaBOOM!, an organization dedicated to saving play by building playgrounds, leveraged a relationship with Groupon Grassroots, which activates citizenship and fosters neighborhood advancement through Groupon, to build its online donor file.

Here Amanda Foster, account manager at Salsa Labs — KaBOOM!’s e-mail and donor relationship management partner — provides five keys to grow and retain your online donor file that helped KaBOOM! reach its goals.

Target your audience
It’s especially vital when reaching out to new or prospective donors that your message is relevant to them. Thus, you must target your audience with the appropriate communications at the appropriate times.

“If someone is interested in slides and someone else is only interested in helping build swings for KaBOOM!, then you send people information about slides or swings as opposed to sending everyone everything,” Foster says. “Target your audience — that’s a big thing.”

Consistently keep your list up to date
You have to maintain your list and keep the data clean on a consistent basis if you plan to get the most out of your list and learn where and how you need to grow.

“Take off people who got really excited about an action three years ago and have never done anything since,” Foster says. “As long as you keep your list clean, it can be very, very successful.”

Thank new donors promptly
This is fundraising 101. Donors expect to be thanked and thanked promptly, especially new donors. Otherwise, they feel like the organization doesn’t appreciate them and probably won’t donate again.

“Put in auto-triggers so after someone makes a donation or completes an advocacy action or anything like that, it can automatically say thank you so much for supporting our organization,” Foster says.

For KaBOOM!, new donors were sent a message as soon as they made their donations through Groupon Grassroots thanking them, which was key in retaining the new donors KaBOOM! attained.

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