Keep Those Givers Giving!

There is a universally-accepted truth in sales: It is easier to resell an existing customer than to find and sell a new customer. The same is absolutely true in fund raising: It is infinitely easier to get a second, third or on-going donation from a supporter than to find and get a first-time donation.

Why, then, do upwards of 50% of the donors to our projects give only one time? Even following a second donation, the attrition rate is 30% annually.

Brit Adrian Sargeant did a study of giving in his homeland, and now is repeating the survey in America under a grant from the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy. Sargeant’s findings in the United Kingdom show the top reasons donors do not repeat their gifts to a specific cause:
  • Feel that other causes are more deserving ----- 26.5%
  • Can no longer afford to support organization ----- 22.3%
  • Don’t remember ever supporting organization ------ 11.4%
  • Still support organization by other means ----- 6.8%
  • Moved to a new community ----- 6.7%
  • Found organization’s communications inappropriate ----- 3.6%
  • Did not receive giving reminder ----- 3.3%
  • Were asked for an inappropriate amount ----- 3.1%
  • Were not informed of how money was used ----- 1.7%
  • Believe organization no longer needs personal support

The bold and italicized objections all are circumstances over which the organization has some or complete control! These objections often can be overcome through effective communications and genuine relationship-building efforts.

How can your organization beat these rather dismal repeat donor statistics?

a. Say thank you! Make sure every donor is thanked in a timely manner. Use this opportunity to reiterate the importance of the gift and how it will benefit your clients/cause.

b. Develop a donor communications plan, then follow it! Make certain that your donors hear from you at times when you’re NOT asking for money. Your relationship with a donor is like any other, wherein none of us like to be the one always giving and never getting. Again, make sure you tell the donor about your vital efforts and their reliance on the financial gifts of individuals.

c. Know your donors! Include them in the “life” of your organization. This will help to develop communications and solicitations that are as personal and appropriate as possible.

While it may seem a daunting task, donor relations and communications are key to fund raising success. Regardless of the limits of agency resources, it is worthwhile to devote time, energy and money to developing the “sales and marketing” aspects of your operation.

Strong Leaders / Strong Stories

Strong leaders have strong stories, and a solid sense of "self" as a leader.  But too often, even strong women view themselves or are perceived as being very good at "getting things done," but not as valuable strategic resources. What can you do to change this?  Find Out More Here