Do These 2 Things If You Want to Keep Your Donors

Thank and Report

I’ve talked about this idea before, but after a year that saw charitable giving increase for many organizations, it’s an idea worthy of reminder…

You have to Thank your donors well, and Report back to them on the effects of their gift, if you want to have the best chance of keeping them.

Here’s the power of Thanking and Reporting, in the simplest possible terms:

  • Thanking your donor well tells her she’s important and that her gift is making a difference.  Almost no nonprofit clearly tells their donors this!  If every thank you letter, receipt and email clearly communicate her value, she’s more likely to give you another gift.
  • Reporting back to your donor on how the world is a better place because of her gift shows her that her gift made a difference.  And if your newsletter shows your donor that her gift made a difference, she’s more likely to give another gift to your organization.

It really is that simple.  It’s not magic.

But it IS why successful organizations spend money and time on Thanking rapidly and well.  And it’s why organizations with good donor-focused newsletters have higher donor retention rates.

Remember; each of your donors is giving to several organizations.  Probably even more so given the challenges of the pandemic.  Some of those organizations make her feel important.  Some of them make her feel like her gift makes a difference.

If your organization makes her feel important, and makes her feel like she made a difference, she’s more likely to stick with you.

And give more gifts. 

And give higher gifts.

So “close the loop” by Thanking and Reporting.

Keeping your donors for longer is one of the primary keys to successful fundraising.  And Thanking and Reporting will make you a pro at keeping your donors!


Steven Screen is Co-Founder of The Better Fundraising Company and lead author of its blog. With over 25 years' fundraising experience, he gets energized by helping organizations understand how they can raise more money. He’s a second-generation fundraiser, a past winner of the Direct Mail Package of the Year, and data-driven.

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