Five easy ways to improve donor retention rate with SupporterHub 3 months ago

While there are no hard and fast stats on the ideal donor retention rate, put simply, the higher, the better.

While focus mustn’t waver too far from an organic acquisition strategy, the disparity between the cost to acquire a new donor and the value to retain an existing donor means your donor retention strategy is equally as important.

To calculate the donor retention rate over previous years, divide the number of donors in any given year by the number of donors from the previous year, and divide by 100.

This calculation will give you a percentage which, in an ideal world, will increase year upon year.

If you notice the donor retention rate stagnating or worse, falling consistently, follow these five simple steps to improve your donor retention rate year upon year to contribute to the growth of the charity.  

1) Make it easy to donate

Giving donor’s complicated or convoluted instructions is unlikely to encourage them to give again. 

Donors have a lot of choices, and they’re looking for anyone who makes their giving easy. The more straightforward the giving process, the more likely a donor is to remain engaged with your cause.  

Optimise your website to give clear instructions, remove clunky front-end systems and streamline the whole process, so it’s fast, clean and no more than a couple of straightforward steps.

How SupporterHub can help:

SupporterHub integrates a secure payment gateway system and CRM to offer donors a streamlined service that guarantees their security.

Long gone are the days of giving donors a number to call or asking them to send cheques through the mail. When you integrate your existing payment gateway with SupporterHub, it takes just a few seconds for donors to give through the website and move onto their next task. 

2) Show gratitude immediately

It’s widely known in fundraising that donors must be thanked up to seven times and it’s essential to get the first ‘thank you’ to donors promptly, immediately where possible.

Donors must feel valued for their contribution and taking too long for the first thank you will turn the hot relationship cold, very quickly.

How SupporterHub can help:

SupporterHub’s integrated email marketing platform allows you to automate a donation acknowledgement as soon as the gift is entered into the system. You can choose to email or mail a DGR receipt over the following few days, but this immediate acknowledgement will show your gratitude to the donor as soon as the money has left their account. 

3) Tailor communication preferences

Every single donor must be treated as an individual from the outset. With so many ways to communicate such as direct mail, email and telephone, and so many appeals running throughout the year, it’s important donors don’t feel bombarded yet you’re contacting them enough to meet their giving needs.

How SupporterHub can help:

Cutting-edge data provided by SupporterHub can analyse the giving habits of individual donors and adapt communication preferences to meet their needs. Assess data to see when donors respond to your appeals by the time of year, the day of the week and even time of day.

You can then tailor preferences to suit those needs to make sure you never miss an opportunity to ask when someone is likely to give. 

If donors return mail or request to be removed from your appeals database, give them the option of changing individual communication preferences, or even put their asks on hold for one or two years to avoid donor fatigue. Only ever remove them as a last resort – an active donor is included in retention figures, even if they’ve decided to take a break from giving.

4) Structured onboarding sequence following the first gift

Structured communication from the first gift will demonstrate to the donor from the outset that you’re grateful, efficient and professional.

Donors are unlikely to respond to haphazard communication consisting of a string of emails followed by radio silence for months, or only contacting them when you’re asking for money. 

How SupporterHub can help:

SupporterHub has an automated marketing platform that will allow you to implement an email onboarding sequence that introduces a new donor to your cause and lets them know how they can help in the short and long-term.

A structured onboarding sequence will also prepare the donor for what they can expect by following your journey and remaining engaged. 

5) Set up a membership program

A membership program will help donors feel like committed members of the family. There are many options of what you can offer a donor in return for a monthly subscription. Send exclusive newsletters, merchandise, or members-only invitations to keep well-regarded members engaged.

How SupporterHub can help:

SupporterHub’s streamlined payment system will allow you to set up direct debits, take regular credit card or PayPal payments and automate communications to build relationships and make donors feel like they belong.

When it comes to analysing your donor retention rate, SupporterHub can provide a visual analysis of your figures from year to year and month to month to give a clear and concise representation of the areas that need more attention. 

To find out more about donor retention and how SupporterHub can help, contact us today to find out more or arrange a free demo.