Acquiring new donors is a necessity. You always want to grow your database with prospective donors and new donors. The reality is that no matter what you do some donors will quit giving. They might move on to other interests or they might move to a different community. Some will even pass away. You want more donors coming into your organization than leaving it. Based upon current research that is not what is happening in most nonprofit organizations across the country.
Connecting with Donors
In order to renew and upgrade donors there is an additional element at play – relationship building. Unless your organization has done something to connect with the newly acquired donor, to build the relationship between the donor and your organization, then renew and upgrade are most likely not going to happen.
Building that relationship, connecting with donors, begins immediately upon receipt of the charitable donation. When you receive the donation and immediately pick up the phone and call the donor to say thank you, you have created the first step towards having a lifetime donor. This action should then be followed by sending a thank you letter. Two very easy steps, that take very little time, and yet, are often the determining factors as to whether that donor will ever give to your organization again.
Research over the past decade by Penelope Burk, Cyrus Research, and Adrian Sargeant, Indiana University, has demonstrated the critical importance of phone calls and thank you letters for donor retention. There are no guarantees that you will retain 100% of your donors, in fact, you probably will not. However, you will have a much greater possibility of beating the 2014 national donor retention rate of 46%.
If you want to raise more money, a suggestion would be to acquire, connect, renew and upgrade.