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May 30, 2024 | Categories Donor Management, DonorPerfect Fundraising Software, Featured

6 Proven Strategies to Secure Second Gifts

Of course, donor acquisition and retention are essential for any successful fundraising program – but above all, it’s important that you feel confident asking and your supporters feel confident giving. A smooth donor journey from start to finish will position your organization for financial sustainability and ensure continued support for your cause.

One of the most crucial milestones in the donor journey is securing a second gift, known as the golden donation, from a new donor. This guide will provide you and your fundraising team with strategies to motivate new donors to contribute a second gift, inviting them to be a part of your organization now and in the future.

The importance of second gifts 

Nonprofits should measure and assess their donor acquisition and retention strategies periodically. Retaining current donors is very cost-effective. While a majority of donors do not make a second gift after their first donation, those who do are more likely to continue donating toward your cause over time.

Here are some effective strategies to inspire donors to give again. 

6 Proven Strategies to Secure Second Gifts

1. Don’t wait to ask again. 

Contrary to common belief, you don’t need to wait to ask for a second gift. In fact, your chances of securing a second donation increase when you promptly engage donors after their initial contribution. A comprehensive fundraising system like DonorPerfect can work wonders to streamline your communication and maximize donor engagement within a 90-day timeframe.

Still anxious? Check out 4 Tips to Ask Often Without Feeling Annoying »

2. Thank your donors and show impact. 

Expressing gratitude is paramount after receiving an initial gift. Personalized thank-you notes, sent within 48 hours, can leave a lasting impression on donors. DonorPerfect has features that allow fundraisers to send personalized emails, letters, or videos, emphasizing the donor’s impact and showing appreciation for their support. You can also ask your board to help you thank donors quickly. 

3. Keep your communications simple. 

Simplify your communications to focus on the cause or program the donor supported. Avoid overwhelming them with extensive welcome packets. Instead, tailor your messages to highlight their specific interests. To ensure you don’t miss any opportunities to connect, you can leverage an automated tool like DonorPerfect’s SmartActions to assign tasks for personalized outreach from you and your team, further engaging donors and strengthening your connections.

4. Get to know them better. 

Try sending surveys to gather insights into your donors’ preferences and motivations. You can ask questions that delve into their reasons for giving, preferred communication channels, and suggestions for improving your organization’s impact. DonorPerfect facilitates all aspects of data collection, enabling personalized interactions based on donor feedback.

5. Invite donors to get involved. 

Did you know that 70% of volunteers will go on to make monetary donations to your cause? Encourage non-monetary engagement by inviting donors to participate in advocacy efforts, volunteer activities, or social media campaigns. Offering diverse ways to engage with your organization fosters a sense of belonging and strengthens donor relationships. DonorPerfect can facilitate volunteer management and streamline communication with prospective volunteers.

6. Ask them for a second gift. 

When soliciting a second gift, maintain a focused approach centered on the cause the donor initially supported. Highlight the impact of their previous donation and present opportunities for continued involvement, such as joining a monthly giving program. DonorPerfect’s tools can aid in creating targeted appeals and tracking donor responses.

With DonorPerfect, you can add a new SmartAction, which can be set up to trigger whenever you open, create, edit, or save a donor, gift, contact, other info, or address record. For example, you can set up your system to automatically send out an email notification when a large donation is received. 

A reminder to thank donors in SmartActions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How soon should I ask a donor for a second gift?

It’s advisable to engage donors promptly after their initial contribution, ideally within a three-month timeframe. Waiting too long may diminish their enthusiasm and engagement with your organization. Donors are likely still feeling good about their first gift and will be inspired to contribute again. 

2. What should I include in my thank-you communications?

Personalize your thank-you messages by addressing the donor by name and emphasizing the impact of their contribution. Keep the communication donor-focused (how they have helped specifically, not what your team has done), expressing gratitude for their support and highlighting the difference they’ve made. 

3. What are some effective ways to involve donors beyond monetary contributions?

Encourage donors to participate in advocacy efforts, volunteer activities, or social media campaigns. Providing diverse opportunities for engagement fosters a sense of community and strengthens donor relationships, ultimately leading to increased support for your cause.

Securing a second gift from new donors is a critical milestone in the donor journey. By implementing thoughtful strategies and leveraging tools like DonorPerfect, organizations can enhance donor retention rates and cultivate lasting relationships with supporters. Prompt acknowledgment, personalized communication, and opportunities for engagement are key elements in motivating new donors to give again.

P.S. Need more help finding and keeping new donors? We have you covered, no matter what stage your donor acquisition strategy is in – beginner, intermediate, or advanced! Our Guided Growth Plan provides expert tips for every step of the way. Download your free copy below – or visit to determine which stage you’re in and which strategies to try first!

Download your Guided Growth Plan

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Meet the author: Chaz Runfola

Chaz is a senior fundraising consultant dedicated to helping nonprofits achieve their missions. With more than ten years of donor engagement and fundraising experience, Chaz has led diverse development initiatives, with emphases on strategic donor communications and...

Learn more about Chaz Runfola
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