Why, Oh, Why Do We Have to Keep Writing About Donor Retention?
- How are donors being acknowledged for their giving and support while also highlighting the need for more support? Do donors feel appreciated? Do donors feel as though you want a relationship with them?
- How many touches are in the program, and are they maximized? This doesn't only mean is it the best creative with the best segmentation. This means each touch is working hard enough for the organization, and if not, perhaps it is an opportunity to reduce expenses or reallocate to better opportunities. I'm not suggesting that we just drop appeals without testing them — but do the analysis. Make sure each campaign is working hard and drawing the types of donors you want.
- Identify the type of donor you believe is the best for the organization. Once you know what that behavior looks like, look to your other donors to cultivate that same behavior. Focus on the messaging; focus on the differences between your desired donor type and the other donor types. Not everyone will behave the same, but every organization should be spending significant time understanding who its current donors are and what makes them tick (yes, I mean understanding them from an attitudinal perspective). Plus, you must be able to define the best donor behavior you want to try to drive within your other donor relationships. After all, if you know what the "best behavior" is and who the "best donor" is, then it should make acquisition more targeted and less about "quantity" and more about "quality."
Problem 2: Not running the numbers
Let's keep this short and simple. The numbers prove it. And, by the way, it's nothing new — people are just not taking the time to run the numbers on their own files. Any organization that took the time to run these numbers out by just a few years would find it almost impossible to ignore the emphasis needed on retention.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.