The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Increase Donor Loyalty with 5 Best Practices

What motivates donors to continue giving to an organization? Traditionally, research that’s focused on charitable giving has looked at how to motivate donors to give an initial gift. But are you doing everything you can to increase donor loyalty? After all, fundraising pros know that donor retention is the golden ticket. Apply these five best practices to your fundraising work and turn one-time donors into loyal, ongoing supporters.

1) Build an Emotional Connection

Companies that optimize the emotional connection between their brand and their customers outperform competitors by 26 percent in gross margin and 85 percent in sales growth. Customers who feel emotionally connected to a brand are:

  • At least three times more likely to recommend
  • Three times more likely to re-purchase

Emotional connections are even more necessary in the nonprofit realm. A logical connection isn’t enough to go the distance. Emotional connections influence both the length and frequency of a donor’s engagement with your organization.

2) Get Feedback

Consumer brands use post-interaction surveys to gather insightful feedback from customers. Set up your survey to ask any question you’d like to know the answer to. They can be especially helpful to nonprofits for gathering feedback on the online donation experience, for asking opinions on various issues, and for collecting ideas to improve the donor experience.

3) Practice Social Listening and Engagement

Surveys aren’t the only way to listen to your donors. Smart brands use social media to learn about their consumers. Engage with your supporters by responding to questions and sharing relevant information. Nonprofits can gain the same benefits by paying attention to what people are saying on both their organization’s social pages and individuals’ social pages. And they can build a relationship by responding in relevant, meaningful ways.

4) Focus on the Individual

To generate loyalty, you have to focus on each person as an individual. Consumers are used to getting customized communications that are personalized. Similarly, donors expect nonprofits to leverage what the organization knows about them to make their experience the best it can be. For example, find out what types of causes they support and share related programs they may be interested in. Learn how they prefer to give—whether via email, text, social media, or snail mail—and make the process easy for them. Find out when they like to give and time your requests appropriately.

5) Show That You Appreciate Them

Brands often have customer appreciation events that are designed specifically to show customers that they’re valued. Appreciation doesn’t have to come in the form of a big event, however. Nonprofits can show appreciation to donors via letters, personalized videos, photo galleries of the project the donor has given to, etc.

Ultimately, it comes back to building the relationship with your donors. They want to feel that they’re a valued part of the work that your organization does. They want to feel connected. As you focus on seeing your donors as individuals, you’ll be able to craft a donor experience program that results in loyal supporters.

Learn why the donor experience is vital to a successful organization and how to implement an effective donor experience program by downloading A Better Donor Experience: Is it the Cornerstone of Donor Loyalty?

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About This Blog

Linda Lombardi

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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