Recurring monthly donations are an invaluable resource for nonprofits – especially as they weather economic downturns. Unlike one-time donations, monthly contributions tend to be smaller and more stable, making them a reliable source of income that can help sustain organizations in times of financial difficulty. This blog will explore the importance of prioritizing donor retention and converting one-time donors to recurring givers.
What is Donor Retention?
Donor retention refers to the rate at which donors give again to an organization. For example, most nonprofits in the United States report that one out of every five first-time donors give to the same organization a second time. Following the second donation, the donor retention rate rises to about 45%, the national average for more than five years. Recurring donations essential to organizational health: nonprofits can take advantage of a significant financial opportunity if monthly contributions continue making it necessary for nonprofit organizations to nurture relationships with recurring donors and ensure these individuals remain engaged with their causes.
Why are Recurring Donors So Important?
Recurring monthly donations provide nonprofits with a steady stream of income, which is particularly beneficial during economic downturns when giving becomes unpredictable. Monthly donors are commonly more committed to their cause than one-time donors because they better understand the importance of their role in furthering the causes close to their heart. The most incentivizing statistic about monthly donors is that they may even give 42% more over the course of a year than those who make single donations.
Strategies for Retaining Donors in a Down Economy
Be sure to tell your story clearly and to share your organization’s successes, specifically highlighting their donation impact. Take the time to know your donors – make sure they are clearly documented in your donor database with clean and up-to-date data. Then, thank them. An individualized thank you can show appreciation for their gift while updating the donor base of success stories. It’s also an organic opportunity to inspire donors to increase their giving capacity because they are confident in your organization’s ability to use your resources effectively.
An excellent recommendation from Classy is to “Steer away from making each message an ask, or a story about a person in need, and instead find playful ways to surprise donors and foster positive emotional connections with your organization.” Communicating without an ulterior motive goes a long way in any relationship, even the ones you have with your donor base!
Strategies for Converting One-time Donors to Recurring
Another strategy for consistent results for many organizations is creating a donation landing page that is free from clutter or potential deviation from what you want them to do – donate. Landing pages that successfully convert visitors to donors have a clear ask and an easy, sometimes even fun, way to join the donor community. It is critical that the payment method is intuitive – especially for the first contribution. Since donors are consumers, too, their buying habits typically remain the same. They overwhelmingly prefer credit cards and subscription models over sending a check every month.
Using Nonprofit Cloud to Measure and Report on Donor Retention and Recurring Donors
Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud provides powerful tools for measuring donor retention rates and tracking recurring donors, making it easier for nonprofits to maximize the impact of monthly giving initiatives. Increasing donations requires an effective strategy to help organizations retain and grow their donor base. Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud helps your organization measure the success of its efforts by tracking ongoing progress with recurring donors so you can identify what’s working best for future campaigns, repeating what works, and refining what doesn’t. It’s also an excellent way to ensure your organization is staying competitive with technology and donor communication, amongst other nonprofit trends.
Even in the face of an uncertain economy, if you have the right donor retention strategy in place for your organization, you are more likely to stay on track with your financial goals. So remember, even when times are tough economically, donations don’t disappear if you know your donors, focus on communication and make their donation experience simple, meaningful, and fun!