Warning! This post is pretty straight forward and a little abrupt. It makes me absolutely crazy when non-profits think they would be bothering their donors if the called them on the phone. Phooey!
3 Reasons Your Donors Will Walk
#1.) The number one reason that donors don’t stick around is they don’t feel appreciated.
Did you know that 19% of first-time donors don’t come back – because the organization doesn’t say thank you?
Have you thanked your donors? I mean, have you specifically thanked them, in terms of using the word, YOU?
“Thank you” should be the first thing a donor sees or hears, immediately and automatically after a donation has been logged. (Click To Tweet)
It’s impossible to thank someone too much! You ought to make at least seven thank you’s for every donation. Then, you can ask again. You can make a donor feel great when the Executive Director, or Board Chair gives them a call. It lets them know that they have not gone unnoticed and that their gift is definitely appreciated.
#2.) The second reason your donors may walk is they don’t think they are making a difference – the impact of their donation isn’t really clear to them. They wonder, are they really making change in the world the way they intended to?
Let them know about the impact their donation creates. Break it down on a cost per unit. Don’t overcomplicate it. What did $50 really DO? In this instance, accuracy is not the point. The point is that you can say – “Because of you, X number of meals for the homeless were served.” (You can use your monthly number, your annual number, etc.).
Communicate the impact in small tidbits of information. Make it meaningful. Send a photo if you can!
Build The Relationship
3.) The third reason donors will walk is so crazy simple! Donors don’t come back because they are not asked to give again. Doh!
Seriously. This topic really bothers me. When someone makes a first-time gift – they ought to receive a series of emails.
Thank them. Then, thank them again and then, give them an update on one of the programs that is meaningful based on their initial gift. You can report again, if you have a newsletter.
Then next, you might want to make another ask. If it’s been 3 months, you can certainly make another appeal.
If you’d rather wait 6 months, that’s cool. Just make another ask before a year has passed.
Once you’ve hit the year mark, it then can begin to look like it’s just an automated process, and they are just one of the masses receiving your ask again. Don’t wait that long. Don’t send that message. It’s entirely unnecessary!
The more personal you can make it, the better. Like this: “If you can repeat your gift of (what they just made), another family will have a warm meal tonight.” Get personal with your donors and they will feel a personal connection to your cause and your organization’s hard work.