Spend as much money & effort to keep your donors, as you did to acquire them

I was reading an article about the 7 things you need to do to be a better fundraiser and there is a lot of commonality with what I recommend to my clients, most of which came to us for help in
acquiring new regular giving donors.

retention digital fundraisingIt talked of better donor experiences and saying thank you well. If you’ve digital fundraising book I bang on about my mission to give every donor a great online experience and why integration between online and offline fundraising is fundamental. But what really caught my eye and prompted this post was #6.

“Spend at least as much on retention as you do on recruitment” – or what I would call acquisition.

Because in my heart of hearts I am an email marketer. And while email is an absolutely brilliant direct response and conversion tool, it (along with the content that drives it) is also your best retention
tool – for the same reason, it’s direct response. If you have a compelling story to tell and you tell it well in a relevant format to the medium you’re communicating through, then people read it AND will
take the action you ask them to.

As a supplier to non-profits in the digital fundraising and online marketing space, I often find we’re pigeon holed as acquisition consultants and we’ll find out they’re working with another agency on
their social media strategy or their search marketing. Some of this is definitely a breakdown in communication on my part in effectively selling what our skills and services are and some is reputation and perception. Thy hear we do acquisition well and assume that’s all we do.

Retention marketing online

But I want to give donors and supporters a fantastic experience through the lifetime of their support to our charities. So that means commitment to the long term donor journey and ultimately their
satisfaction – which is retention. donor retention

For me retention marketing in the digital space is about content and user experience, rather than the digital channel. Because if you build your strategy around content and talking to your donors and supporters about the work their gifts fund and the stories and themes that they care about and expect of you, you will continue to meet their expectations, and exceed them from time to time.

This is retention. Be consistent. Be regular and talk to supporters when you have news to report, good or bad. Regular doesn’t have to mean a calendar, it doesn’t have to be every 2 weeks or on the 3rd Friday of each month. It just needs to be frequent and relevant. Timely rather than scheduled.

Use content to drive your retention strategy online

If you’re writing and creating content on your site in the form of videos and images and posters and checklists and downloads and infographics – your supporters will find the ones they are interested in.
They’ll see it in your facebook feed or a friends will forward and email with the line”I think you’ll like this” or they’ll see it in the media and search for it and it’ll present in their Google feed. Or, if you’re doing it well and they are opening your emails regularly because you have proven your organisation has something interesting to say, they’ll get it direct to their inbox.

THAT is retention fundraising. And it costs mostly time and effort and some love. You’ll spend money on video and photography and writers, and people to curate it – and that is money well spent.

Retention – digital fundraising

So if you are an Australian charity or non profit in the Human Rights & Social justice space or the Environment or Homelessness & Poverty and you are ready to spend time and money on retention and want to do that through content and digital – then we are the partners for you!

We practice what we preach. Join our newsletter. Read more of this blog about digital fundraising. Download an ebook – we have lots. Buy our book on digital fundraising that works. We’re all about sharing stories and I knowledge. We want to keep adding value to our clients and keep bringing people back to our site, to our services, to our vision again and again.