In Week 9 of The Donor Retention Project I listened to a very interesting audio conversation that used dating as a metaphor for donor retention. It worked surprisingly well from the acquisition/blind date/bar approach to the “bequests/’til death do us part.” You can read the details in the Action Guide that accompanies each week of the Donor Retention Project.
However, I want to focus on something that John Lepp mentioned during the 4th step – the going steady phase. He said, “As soon as I ask you for more than one thing I am affecting your ability to make a decision and therefore, I’m limiting how you are going to react.” He restated it as, “If I can be as clear as possible with what I want from you and it’s one thing, my odds are increasing monumentally that you will do it.
In other words, if you are working on increasing monthly donors from your pool of current donors – explain, how it will help the organization to have monthly donors, why they are the perfect people to become monthly donors and then ask them to become monthly donors. Don’t give them a list of ways they can give on a standard form in which one check box is monthly giving. It is too confusing.
It may take a bit more time to create a new return slip but really, is that your excuse? We are all busy, there is no denying that, but if you are asking them to make monthly giving to your nonprofit a priority, – you have to be willing to make the same commitment
So book a meeting with your Board Chair, Executive Director, Director of Development or whoever else helps prioritize areas of focus. Then, consider which donors are you trying to retain (I am assuming you read this far because the first line included donor retention). Segmenting also takes more time and effort, but it provides the opportunity for a more targeted path for retention. Effort is required – from both the donor and the nonprofit – but the results will be beneficial to everyone.
Read the rest of my series on 90 Days to Larger Gifts and Lifetime Donors by clicking here