5 Easy Ways to Keep Donors Engaged

Updated: Oct 20



Once a donor makes the decision to stop giving to your organization, it's tough to get them back. The average rate for re-engaging lapsed donors is only 5% and the cost to get them back is quite high.


It's much more cost-efficient to retain the donors you have. That means keeping them engaged.


The average donor retention rate for nonprofits is around 43.6% and it has been dropping over the last couple of years. The silver lining is that the overall number of donors has grown year over year.


With Giving Tuesday and End of Year giving just weeks away, take a moment to show some love to your current donors and constituents. Here's a few easy ways to show them just how much you appreciate their support:


  • Pick up the phone. Not to ask. Just to say thank you for being a donor/supporter. Yes, you’ll get a lot of voicemails. That’s ok! It will mean a lot to donors for you to personally reach out just to say thanks. Anyone can make donor thank you calls, from your C-suites to your interns. Everyone connects positively with the mission during thank you calls.


  • Whether it’s a phone call, personalized video, social shout-out, or handwritten card, try your best to thank a donor in a personal way right after they donate. A donation confirmation email does not = a thank you.


  • Always make it easy to give more than once. From website popups and emails to direct outreach and donation pages, make monthly giving messaging front and center. The more monthly givers you can convert, the higher your donor retention rate. Monthly donors give 42% more than one time givers (Nonprofit Source).


  • Demonstrate your organization’s impact often. Prioritize getting photos, videos, quotes, and case studies from program beneficiaries. Keep your donors informed of the impact their dollars are making and keep them engaged to continue their support.


  • "You can’t manage what you can’t measure." This widely used Peter Drucker quote is fitting for many nonprofits, whose development and program staff keep their important information and data across disparate spreadsheets, Google docs, or in other database tools that aren’t built for their unique needs. To track and measure, you need the right tool. One that makes it easy to monitor donor and constituent behavior, from donations to volunteer hours, event attendance, in-kind gifts, introductions, and connections. If you are looking for a CRM platform that supports your efforts, the Instil team would love to connect!


Stewarding your donors certainly makes good business sense. With data and insights, you can level up your stewardship efforts to better retain support and build deep, lasting relationships with your donors and constituents.


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