Everything you should know about donor retention

Donor retention has been a major challenge for nonprofits. Whether you are running the most trusted donation platform in the online world or are part of an offline nonprofit organization, in order to increase the retention rate, you will have to find some efficient ways so that you can encourage the existing donors to give in the future. If you are successful at encouraging them and they make another donation, you have retained the donor. In this post, we will share some reasons why donors continue giving and why they stop. Do consider those points so that it is easy for you to retain the donors.

What is Donor retention?

Donor retention rate is the number of donors that keep on donating money to an organization after their very first donation. The organizations that have a high retention rate, have a high number of returning donors that contribute continuously. On the other hand, organizations with low donor retention rates usually focus on acquiring new donors instead of focusing on the existing ones and retaining them.

The donor retention rate has a huge impact on your nonprofit’s success. Retaining donors is one of the most cost-effective strategies for fast fundraising in comparison to finding and acquiring new ones. It is a fact that without a good Donor retention rate, nonprofits and online fundraising platforms have a difficult time growing. Most nonprofits are now relying on technology to make the best use of available data to retain the donors.

Why is it essential to improve donor retention?

We all know that acquiring new donors is just the first step, and it takes a significant amount of time, energy, as well as valuable resources to find prospects, reaching and convincing them to donate for the causes they care about. Turning your connections into first-time donors is challenging, and that’s why it is crucial to find the ways which will help you retain those donors and ensure that all your efforts and resources are not wasted and donors continue giving year after year.

Donor retention is both an easy and inexpensive way to encourage the existing ones to continue contributing in comparison to acquiring new ones. Interestingly, most organizations do not get much profit or lose money when they initially get a new donor, and that’s where donor retention comes into play, and your organization can overcome that loss when that donor turns into a repeat one and continues giving.

Moreover, when someone has already contributed to your organization, it is an indication that they trust you over other organizations. All this means they would like to donate again, and all you need is the right strategy to convince them in the future.

What is the average donor retention rate?

According to Jcsocialmarketing, the average rate for donor retention is approximately 40-45% in the fundraising industry. Simply put, if you acquire 100 new donors, then only approximately 40 of them will contribute in the future.

Interesting stats about fundraising

Have a look at these interesting stats shared by Doublethedonation:

  • Approximately 30% of yearly donations are made in December.
  • About 41% of donors around the globe donate for natural disasters.
  • Nearly 45% of donors in the world are a part of a monthly donation program.
  • Approximately 31% of donors in the world prefer giving to nonprofits located in foreign countries.

Top reasons why donors keep contributing

  • They have faith in your organization

Donors connect with your organization because they have faith in the mission you are working on. They continue giving because your commitments are trustworthy, and you prove it with your dedication and show them positive outcomes. This is the reason when you commit to something in front of your donors, be true to every word.

  • They believe that their contribution has an impact

When the donors contribute, they strongly believe that their contribution is making an impact in the community. This feeling motivates them to contribute again. However, it is your responsibility to tell them how their donation amount and gifts are being used.

  • They feel that they are a part of an important cause

Making donations is more of an emotional thing, and the donors are usually attached to personal stories instead of facts or available statistical data. This is why showing them these stats/facts in the form of stories helps encourage the donors.

  • Donors receive thank you messages

When the donors are appreciated for their contribution, they are more likely to continue supporting your organization. No matter how small their donation is, it is crucial to send a thank you note to the donors.

Top reasons why donors stop contributing

  • They don’t get any info on how money is being utilized

If the donors don’t get any information on how the money is used, they stop supporting the organization. If you want your donors to continue supporting your organization’s mission, do tell them how you use their money.

  • They are not appreciated

The donors won’t connect with your organization if they don’t get any thank you messages.

  • Poor service or communication

Communication and good service are the two things that play an essential role in making or breaking your organization’s donor retention strategy. You must streamline your service so that it is easy for them to donate money online or offline. Also, bad communication will also demotivate them, and they will stop giving.

  • They think that other organizations are doing better than you

If your donors are not getting any updates regarding your fundraising events and other related info, they will consider other organizations for the next time.

  • When the donors feel that your organization is being too pushy

Being pushy to donate money for your organization’s causes can lead to the loss of your donors. You should treat them as human beings and not as money-making machines. You must share information about your crowdfunding events but never try to push them to donate.

Additionally, during the times of COVID-19, the donors prefer giving in the online world, and if your organization is not providing them an online platform for the same, they might turn to other organizations. We would recommend you invest in your own online solution to raise money online or sign up with the best fundraising platform and let your loyal donors connect with you in these times of need.


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