Fundamentals of Donor Retention
CARE then sends a communication preference postcard a week later, allowing donors to inform the organization how they would like to communicate with it. There is a thank-you on the outer envelope of the postcard, a letter from the president about how CARE uses donated money wisely, and the opportunity for donors to say how they want to hear from CARE and how often.
“Very few send in the postcard, but it lets them know we let them have a say and we care about them,” Jones said.
There is no ask on the postcard. It’s more of an engagement piece to help build the relationship with the new donor.
The next mailing in the series is the child survival appeal, the top-performing appeal for CARE. It asks donors to give that second (or third) gift right up front, beginning on the outer envelope and continuing inside. It highlights how giving leads to feeding the hungry, taking a more functional tone — describing how gifts are used, providing a matching-gift element, personalization, etc.
The key copy, Jones said, is the paragraph that states, “As someone who’s so recently been generous and given, you understand why we have a need.”
CARE follows that up with a monthly-giving invitation mailing, asking new donors to become monthly donors. The focus is on getting donors to join the Partners for Change monthly-giving program. It does have a one-time gift ask, but it’s something recipients have to hunt for, Jones said.
The monthly giving invite is a higher-end brochure. The same time it hits, CARE calls those donors it has phone numbers for, and it’s also sent to e-mail donors in an e-mail appeal.
“We have a planned-out series,” Jones said. “Donors get thanked two times, asking them throughout for that next gift, sending appeals with the same message that brought them to CARE, and asking them to become monthly donors.”