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New Donors in 2016? What’s Next?

Before you do ANYTHING else this week, please find out how many new donors you gained in 2016. These are your first-time supporters.

Once you know that number, it’s time to create the plan to make sure they give again.

It’s important to understand that only 43% of your donors are retained from year to year. Here’s the heartbreaking data: Only 19% of first-time donors stick around. Yikes.

Donor “retention” is a hot topic. I found more than 21 million results when I googled the words Donor Retention. But maybe we need to look at the challenge of donor retention in a different way. What if we are focused on something that doesn’t feel good for our donors?

As Penny Harris from Renewable Philanthropy says, “The word “retention” can put the focus on locking up your donors in the prison of your database. . . or building a “wall” so they can’t leave.”
That is NOT the way I want to feel when I make a contribution to a mission that I love.

Which do you want to do?




I encourage you to reframe your focus as Penny Harris has. She focuses on renewing the commitment people have for your programs.
She says, “If we believe our commitment to encourage people to connect, create purpose, and significance with their gifts then renewal is a stronger focus. When donors renew their gifts they confirm trust, connection and experience.”

It’s makes good sense to focus on renewals.  When you put the focus making sure your donors continue to find meaning through your mission your fundraising dollars WILL increase.

One organization I’ve worked with in the past few years increased their annual fundraising from $3 million to $8 million.  Focus on  messages to your supporters that deepen the meaning of your mission. Don’t just retain…renew.


I am here to help YOU create a plan that focuses on donor renewals. A plan that will ensure you exceed your fundraising goals. Join me and a small group of committed nonprofit professionals for 4 weeks. I promise to make it worth every penny. And more.

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