Building a strong donor list is not easy. It takes a lot of time, nurturing, and compelling marketing messages. That’s why you should always try get your occasional donors to become more regular donors – because it’s easier and faster to get someone already bought into your mission to continue donating.

5 Ways to Instantly Improve Donor Loyalty

But how do you do that?

Below we share 5 different ways you can improve you donor loyalty and see more regular, ongoing donations start to roll in.

5 Ways You Can Instantly Improve Donor Loyalty

1. Recognize Your Repeat Donors

The only way you can improve your existing donor loyalty is to know who your donors are. Otherwise, you’re just targeting the same people, with the same message, and not increasing the amount of individual donations.

You can figure out who your repeat donors are by running some queries in your fund accounting database. Once you pull the list, you can segment on a variety of factors:

  • Last time they donated;
  • How much they donated – we recommend grouping them by dollar amount ($1-$25, $25-$50, etc) and customizing the groupings based on how your donors contribute;
  • How many times they’ve donated in the current year;
  • How many times they’ve donated all-time;

Segmenting your list allows you to deliver targeted marketing messages to that group, with specific calls-to-action to increase and encourage repeat donations.

2. Offer Repeat Giving

One of your specific calls-to-action could be to sign up for repeat giving. After all, if your repeat donors, especially those that donate sporadically, signed up to donate $25 a month instead of $25 a year, then you’d increase annual donations by $275. That might not seem like a lot from one person, but imagine getting 100 sporadic donors to do it annually. That’s over $27,000!

Once you get repeat donations set up with your fund accounting software and website, then you can start marketing it to your donors, both current and prospective.

The best way to encourage people to sign up for repeat giving is to offer it as they are actively making a donation. Why? Because they’re already in the spirit of giving! And it will be a lot harder to get them to come back and set it up after they complete the transaction.

3. Share Stories From Your Donors

Your donors are your biggest advocates. They each have a story about why they continue to donate to your organization. Reach out to them and ask if they would share their reason for donating with you and allow you to use it in your marketing.

Your sporadic donors are more likely to give more often if they hear other people are doing it and their reasons why. Sporadic donors might share similar stories, which will resonate and push them to donate more often. And if you have repeat giving in place, they can sign up for that as well 🙂

To maximize the effect of using stories, you should try to release new ones at least once every quarter. If you can do it more often, you should however once a quarter is a good start to seeing how people react.

4. Communicate With Your Donors

You can’t expect donors to continue giving if they don’t know where their donations are going or if they only hear from you at the end of year. You have to regularly engage them with blogs, emails, stories, or other types of content to help donate more than once a year.

What should you share with your donors?

  • Nonprofit news – Hosting an event? Welcoming a new board member? These are great things to share with your donors. Seeing your mission’s progress and hearing about the exciting things happening internally will make your donors feel happy, optimistic about the future, and want to donate more money;
  • Stories from donors
  • Research from the industry
  • Stories from the people benefitting from your nonprofit
  • Surveys – Ask your donors what they want to see from you in the future. This could be related to how they can donate (online, mobile, etc.), what content they want to receive from you, programs they want you to offer, and more. And after you close the survey and review the results, create a version that you can share with respondents. You can’t expect them to continue taking surveys or provide information if you aren’t willing to share the findings
  • Updates on the mission – While this can fall under nonprofit news, it’s better to break it out so you remember to send progress updates more frequently. Donors want to hear how the organization is doing – and it’s best to continuously share throughout the year to keep them engaged and repeatedly giving.

5. Give Thanks

Your repeat donors are something special, giving their hard-earned money to your organization to help change the world. To show your appreciation and secure ongoing donations, you should thank them as often as you can…especially if you use their stories in your marketing campaigns.

Here are just a few ways you can give thanks:

  • Give them special insight into how their story is affecting other people;
  • Find other ways to get them involved, maybe at events or volunteer opportunities;
  • Let them help with other marketing campaigns – they have a different perspective that can help you long-term.

Read 6 Creative Ways to Thank Donors for additional ways to thank donors.

Improving donor loyalty is a must if you want increase your fundraising efforts. Not only will it mean more money for your organization, but it will also mean stronger relationships with the people who allow your mission to happen in the first place.

What other ways can you improve your donor loyalty? Share your tips with us on Twitter – @CapitalBusiness