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How to Retain Recurring Donors

We recently discussed how to attract recurring donors to your nonprofit.  Now that the (not-so-hard) hard part is over, your next mission is to RETAIN them!  And although a lot of the same principles for attracting these donors also apply to keeping them, there are other factors to consider.  

 Strategic Appreciation

Sincere acts of appreciation are always key for every single one of your interactions with supporters, big and small. This is integral to attracting recurring donors and even more crucial to retaining them.  It’s also important to be strategic in how you show your appreciation.  For example, saying thank you is an opportune time to inform your donors of how much more is needed for a current campaign.  Instead of sending an outright request for more money, make the message be in the form of an update.  

Sample Email:  Thank you for your recurring gift of $25 to our [Campaign Name].  We are now even closer to our goal!  GOAL:  $5,000  RAISED:  $1,200.  To further improve our mission’s efforts, please share our campaign information [provide link to your campaign page] with your social circle.  We appreciate your support!  To make changes to your recurring donation, review and select from our donation tiers [provide link to your donation page].    

 Relationship Maintenance

Along with the prompt, heart-felt, and strategic thank-you emails, you should also be keeping in regular contact with your donors by keeping them consistently updated.  You can do this by sending quarterly statements, for instance, that include updates on the impact of their recurring donations while also informing them of your current need.  You could also include another call to action (CTA) that allows donors to take further action and stay more involved with your organization.  

CTA examples:  Tell us what events you’d like to see us do again!  OR  Please share your story of why you got involved with our nonprofit to be featured on our website!          

 Ease of Support

Make your donor’s participation in your nonprofit as easy as possible.  Signing up for recurring donations with that readily available option was their first easy move, along with restricted funds (if you took this bit of advice).  Next is making sure they don’t have to do any work to find out how their donation money was spent, what your organization is up to now, or even how they’re going to get their tax documents!…  

That’s right, a great way to better retain your recurring donors is to send them a yearly tax email or letter, reminding them that their charitable donations can be used as tax deductions.  

For instance:  Donors who give through GiveGab’s online giving platform are sent a donation receipt automatically after each donation.  They can also access their receipts anytime by logging into their GiveGab account.  So, for your yearly tax email, you would simply need to thank them (yes again!) and remind them that they received donation receipts via email and that they can be accessed anytime through their GiveGab account to be used as charitable tax deductions.  Easy peasy.        

 Have Fun!

Something super important to keep in mind is the magnetic pull of happiness and fun!  Nonprofits that have fun with their message by creating unique hashtags on social media, for instance, or simply by getting creative with their images and overall message, give their current supporters an enjoyable reason to stay!  After all, who wants to stop having fun?  And we all know happiness is contagious, so do whatever you have to do to make your nonprofit’s message not only urgent, but happy, hopeful, and fun, too!  

Looking for more guidance?…  

Download our Free Checklist to ensure you’re doing everything you can to retain your recurring donors!