A Loyal Donor is a Retained Donor
Cohen suggested explaining fundraising efforts in the annual report, outlining all of the programs the organization will need help with throughout the year. This gives donors a chance to determine what programs they want to support, how much they want to give and how often. Knowing what organizations need ahead of time might help donors decide whether they want to give once or a few times throughout the year.
Cohen said good planning will build awareness and enhance involvement, adding, “Donors give more often and larger amounts when they can plan their philanthropy.”
“‘Crisis fundraising’ prompts immediate giving, but average donations are smaller and overall annual contributions remain static,” she added. “Impulsive donations are like impulse buying and create a quick high rather than deeper contentment.”
Loyalty programs also are important.
Organizations should think of loyalty programs as a way to bring constituents closer. Cohen says a great way to reward a donor is to include her in monthly conference calls. She suggests inviting donors to call in and sit in on a conversation with an organization’s executive director or a person who is running a particular program.
It gives donors a chance to hear about the nonprofit’s accomplishments and to ask questions. Cohen said she knows of one organization that did this and saw a 22 percent gift increase in the first six months.
Another good way to recognize loyal donors is to profile them in one of your communications. Cohen said it is especially important to profile someone who has given $25 or $50 donations per year over a long period of time.
“This is very relatable,” Cohen says. “Someone looks at this and thinks, ‘That’s me. I do this.’”