The time you spend NOW to see, hear, and connect with your current donors during the summer months are, I believe, the key to increasing donor retention in advance of your fall events and annual appeals.
With vacations and long weekends upon us, take this as your reminder to schedule some “donor retention” activities for the summer. The fact is, when donors have a high level of trust about what you DO with THEIR financial support, they are much more likely to give again and again.
Here’s my checklist of 10 low-cost or free actions you can take this summer to cause your supporters to feel connected and ready to make a contribution the next time you ask.
1. Monthly Segmented Enews
Be sure to include client stories, quotes, testimonials, or video to first-time, long-time, or lapsed donors.
2. Hold a Special Social Media Event
Whether it’s on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or some other platform, spend a day, week or month just on thanking your donors.
3. Share a short update video
Place the video about a specific program or campaign on the homepage or donation page of your website.
4. Send donors a a text
All you need to include is a thank you and a quick program or funding update.
5. Use fun, unique hand-written thank you notes
A drawing from an artist; note from a child, vet, senior; use unique paper or cards and send them to your donors this summer.
6. Hold one-on-one meetings
Meet with different categories of supporters to introduce yourself or something new about your organization: Older donors who stay in town, corporate donors, foundation program staff.
7. Announce and share widely the celebration of fun milestones
75th monthly donor, 5000th active donor, 1000 clients served, your community has made contributions totaling 50% of your fundraising goal for the year. Just be sure these are always announced in a way that make your donors feel great about their gifts to you.
8. Hold a phone call Thank-A-Thon
Provide a short script for your board & staff and make as many calls to recent donors as possible.
9. Make thank you calls for 5 minutes at a board meeting
Set aside just a few minutes to personally thank summer event donors.
10. Use “business as usual” events to invite long-time or major gift supporters
Whether it’s graduation, a picnic, special gatherings of clients or their families . . . anything you do regularly — not a “new” event. Invite long-time or major gift supporters to spend 10-15 minutes with you and a board member learning about a specific program supported by your annual fund campaign. Have them “see” their gifts in action. Remember: The donor doesn’t have to attend the event to feel connected. The invite call, email, or note in the mail is of value too.
Those are a few of my ideas. I’d love to hear what you have planned to retain donors & keep your them engaged this summer! Leave your plans in the comments.
Visit the Resources section for a free 2-page storytelling framework and other storytelling tools.