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Donor Retention The Ultimate Guide

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    Donor Retention

    Are you a nonprofit professional, on the lookout for new donors for your online crowdfunding campaign? Surely you have heard of donor retention, its cost-effectiveness and practicality.

    Donors are not just there for donations, they integral advocates to nonprofits and it causes. So stay connected to donors as they matter the most.

    Are you ready to know about donor retention?

    We will answer three critical questions:

    1. What is donor retention?

    2. Why is donor retention necessary to nonprofits?3. How can nonprofits retain donors?



    In simple terms, donor retention is the number of people who donate or contribute to your causer regularly over long periods. The goal of nonprofit organisations is to get their previous donors to donate again and again, simultaneously building a stronger connection to the organisation and its causes.

    For example, a nonprofit organisation raised rupees 50 lakh last year, to rebuild houses of poor people that got washed off due to floods and incessant rains. This year they plan on raising rupees 70 lakhs. If the nonprofit has retained its donors from last year, it may need to submit only rupees 20 lakh more in new donations from donors.

    Hence it is safe to say a reliable source of income is guaranteed by donor retention, and nonprofits can create more constrained budgets to run campaigns. Retaining donors is cost-effective and also ensures the growth of the nonprofit. 



    The average donor retention rate for nonprofits hovers around 40-45%. Putting this into perspective, 40 of every 100 donors are likely to donate once again. Getting over the first hurdle of acquiring more donors to contribute once again is an important step that should not be avoided.

    Retention is more critical due to the following reasons:

    1. It builds lasting relations
    2. Receives bigger donations
    3. The cause is promoted better
    4. And accumulates knowledge for future fundraising

    It is safe to say the key for any organisation to run successfully and sustainably is through donor retention. To acquire these results boosting donor retention rate is critical.

    How to capture and re-capture the hearts of these generous supporters?

    • One such way is by digitising your fundraising campaign, and this will effectively maintain your present donor network and expand it outward going forwards.

    • Using an appropriate and trusted online fundraising platform such as Ketto online crowdfunding will empower you with actionable insights at improving your donor retention for the nonprofit.

    Similarly one can strengthen their donor retention practices using the below digital strategies

    • Build a comprehensive email list.
    • Capture attention of donors from the get-go.
    • A/B testing implementation.
    • Media presence maximisation.
    • Use templates to your advantage.

    Donor retention is a difficult task, but it is needed to ensure nonprofit organisations sustain the ups and downs caused by financial volatility in growing markets worldwide.



    Nonprofits need to see donors as friends and build a relationship that extends arms both ways and not merely giving to help out or be helped. 

    Give donor an experience

    A donor needs to be fed the experience of donations with a feel-good factor. Delivery of this experience lies solely within the hands of the nonprofit. 

    Donors look for three peculiar things when donating to nonprofits.

    1. Contentment that the nonprofit is working towards the same cause that the donor believes in.
    2. Recognition and connection to the cause
    3. A belief that the nonprofit organisation is conducting the work in a reliable and trustworthy manner.

    Donation is a pursuit that requires money yet thrives on human compassion.

    Treat donors as you would yourself

    It would be best if you practised what you preach and treat donors like real human beings and not a money tree.

    Communication with donors should not always be about asking for donations; instead, it should teach, inform and share information that will build a rapport.

    You can send out information about events, appreciations, trends and current happenings in the nonprofit.

    Device plans for donor retention

    This needs prior planning and meticulous strategies and should answer crucial questions like:

    • What information are we gaining from the donors?
    • Which materials are sent to donors, and at what time?
    • What procedure is followed when an individual donates?

    Detailed plans streamline retention of donors. Planing also saves precious time, energy and reduces unnecessary workloads.

    Strategies that work

    This is the most crucial of all and will help retain donors as retention of donors falls into the below categories:

    • Neural experience- facility tours, group meetings, summer camps with a cause attached such as feed the hungry, will allow donors to receive neural experiences that make them feel more connected. Touching and interacting with the real cause of the organisation forms more intimate links with the donors. Similarly emailing and cold calling to provide updates engages and strengthens this relation better.

    • Communication methods- some donors prefer emails, some prefer SMS, some prefer calls, whatever your donors preference you should try your best to use it often. Doing so lets your organisation stand out from the rest and makes your donors feel valued.

    • Multiple individuals reaching out- everyone involved in the cause should have a sense of ownership. This will allow anyone to communicate well with the donors and creates multiple touchpoints for donors.this will make the donation experience unique.

    Wrap up

    Donor retention is a difficult task but is most needed to ensure the nonprofit remain productive, effective and last-long. Currently, donor retention is a digital task; you need to ensure the right tools are used to obtain the most effective results.

    Is your nonprofit looking to raise money through an online crowdfunding campaign? Read 5 Innovative Online Fundraising Ideas for Non- Profit Organization to get useful insights for your next fundraiser.

    With useful templates, tools, attention-grabbing SMS/messaging tactics and email-network, your donor pool and donor retention will see steady growth in the long run.

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