29 Tips for Gaining and Retaining a Donor Base
12. Stability. You may want to do this if there are issues with your service or you have limited resources. To increase your stability, Rich recommends continuing acquisition and renewal efforts. For acquisition, define who you are targeting and use of a mix of methods, including on-site efforts, activities, gift memberships and direct mail.
13. Target. When trying to decide who to target, look for "clones" of your current members, Rich said — but not all members. She recommended focusing on the characteristics of long-time members (three to five years) and donor-club-level members.
Create a donor profile by doing a survey of long-time members. Offer donors something — a coupon, for example — for filling it out. You can do the survey online, but Rich said those that complete the survey then might not be an accurate representation of your donor pool.
After forming a profile of the donors you'd like to target, look for prospective members with a demonstrated interest in your cause, an understanding of who you are and disposable income ($50 is a traditional entry-level donation to a membership organization).
14. On-site acquisition (if you have a facility). This can be driven by volunteers (least effective, but costs the least), staff (effective when able to devote the time) or sales professionals (do the best, but cost the most). Determine what group works best for your organization. But no matter who you choose, Rich said, they should be trained.
On-site acquisition can occur at the front desk, reception area, during events, in your store or in the development/membership office.
15. Activities for acquisition efforts. This can be a membership month, where your organization pulls out all of the stops and does everything it can to get new members; employee contest to challenge employees to get the most new members; member-get-a-member contests where the member who brings in the most new members gets a prize; personal solicitation; brochure distribution; online promotions; charter membership; and through advertising, though Rich said this can be expensive.