1 HOUR 1 MIN
How to Grow Donor Retention in 2022
You need a donor retention strategy to ensure your nonprofit can continue to fund your mission. This webinar will provide you the tools you need to do so.
Categories: Expert Webcast, How To
How to Grow Donor Retention in 2022 TranscriptPrint Transcript
Hello, everybody, and welcome to our webinar, I am super excited to be here. So thank you, Heather and Nonprofit Tech for Good for inviting us. I am one of those people who enjoys talking about trends. And Read More
Hello, everybody, and welcome to our webinar, I am super excited to be here. So thank you, Heather and Nonprofit Tech for Good for inviting us. I am one of those people who enjoys talking about trends. And you know, one of the things that I really like about the industry that we all are working in is the the impact that we can have. And we can make that impact or that kind of footprint bigger by working together. And our industry, like any industry has key metrics that they use for kind of measuring health and growth and success. And what we’re going to be talking about, in terms of the metrics today is going to be donor retention. Now, I don’t know what you think about donor retention. And I don’t necessarily know you know, what your experience is measuring it, or maybe you’re brand new to the industry, and you’re just trying to figure out what it is. We’ll we’ll define that and all that in just a moment. But one of the things that struck me as I was preparing for today is another kind of a trend, if you will, it’s my own version, but I’m calling it an X trend. So if you can kind of imagine an X and I draw my x’s starting in the upper kind of left corner, drawing a line down, so if that line from top to bottom represents our count of donors, and then you throw the X the other line, going from bottom to top. So kind of a goofy way of drawing an X, but you end up there. And if you think about that line representing the donation totals, so we have a count of donors going down, potentially, and we have the donation totals increasing. Now, that is a trend that I have seen in a lot of the organizations that I’ve worked with. And as I’ve read a lot of reports and you know, different resources. And it seems like that that would be a good thing. But But I sat back and I thought, is that a good thing? What if we have a pandemic or some other unforeseen circumstances that could dramatically impact your organization? Will these, if you will, higher income donors continue to support you in 2022, or just simply in the future. So because of the uncertainty as we are well aware of? This is one reason why I believe donor retention really matters. And really, I think thinking through what are your strategies that you can have in place, so that you can weather the storm of that unpredictability, but also keep the strength of your donor relationships up. So effective donor retention strategies require you to determine your baseline, define your definition of success and measure your progress towards your goals through reporting. So what we are going to be talking about, as I’ve already indicated, is donor retention. So you’ve had some time to look at this graphic, this image on my screen. And I don’t know where your thoughts land. But what do you notice? I tend to notice this one right here where it’s year over year retention by donor type. This one has a lot of intrigue to me my monthly donors. So why do monthly donors have such a positive impact one donor retention, or this one? This is another metric that I’m very intrigued by the donor retention rate versus the number of days thanked after a gift. It’s an amazing breakdown. I mean, all of those numbers are great numbers 61% donor retention rate if the donor is think the same day drops to 53 drops to 47 being the lowest if it’s four days, or they’re about well, what about this over here? These are some interesting numbers, one time donors, okay, their lifetime value is $175. Well, that sounds really good, isn’t it? Well, it is course. But look at the number of the value lifetime value of recurring donors, donors who give you more than once retain donors. It’s almost what what is it triples quadruples, so just simply looking at this chart alone. To me, this is reason to really kind of look at donor retention very closely, and kind of what’s happening at your organization. So what I’m going to be doing today is kind of defining what I mean by donor retention, making sure everybody’s you thinking about it the same way, and I’m going to highlight some strategies, but I’m also I’m going to be kind of explaining and demonstrating some of that in DonorPerfect. So everybody, hopefully is using a CRM, I would hope and, of course DonorPerfect, but it doesn’t have to be. So let’s keep going here and see what we can learn together.
All right, so let’s start out understanding in case this is new to you, what’s your donor retention rate? So what is your donor retention rate? To calculate your overall donor retention rate, you first want to add up the number of donors who gave to you in a 12 month period, so a year so what is the count of those donors, and then you’re going to add up the same number of donors from that same group who made a donation in the following year, okay, so the total year to year to repeat donors, and then you’re just simply going to divide year two by year one. So for example, if you have 1000 donors in year one, but only 400 of those gave again, in year two, your donor retention rate would be 400, divided by 1000, or 40%. Now, I don’t know necessarily all the donor retention rates and all the different countries represented. But I can tell you that in the US right now, the donor retention rate is hovering right around 43%, which is actually, if you look backwards in time, that number is slowly declining. Now that’s based on 2020. The numbers are indicating the 2021, we might see a bump up. So that’s good news. But could it be better. And I have to be one of those forever optimist mixed with a bit of realism. But I think it’s possible that it could absolutely be better. So my question as we get underway here, and again, you’re going to shout that out to me in the questions pane of the control panel is what if anything, are you currently doing at your organization to retain your donors? So what’s the first thing that comes to mind that you are doing currently to retain your donors? And maybe it’s nothing maybe that’s why you’re here and you’re just trying to figure this whole thing out. But I’m going to venture a guess that there’s some of you that or have some things in place. So sending thank you emails, acknowledgments thank yous for donations in a timely manner. personal phone calls or the F. Thanks. So I’m seeing a trend about thanks. Communications newsletters, new donor welcome series pulled donors for the first time to get feedback. Awesome. Thanking, thanking, all right. For Thank you calls. That’s an amazing one. Actually, I read an interesting article, the impact on donor retention, if your board calls versus you is amazing. It’s like just a crazy number. thank you letters and calls a thank Athan by the board. That’s fantastic. All right. So you absolutely are, share sharing very common themes around thinking, Well, my question, then, you know, not that you have to kind of shout this out in the poll, is that for all like everything across every all spectrums of what you’re doing? Or maybe you want to kind of zoom in on a segment, maybe you want to figure out what is your, your donor retention for your monthly donors, or what’s your retention rate for first time, or giving Tuesday, you know, we just came through giving Tuesday. So you can really apply this principle of donor retention to all or it could be, you know, a very specific segment. But the the math, the approach of defining it is going to be the same what happened in year one of that year one group, what, who participated for two years, and then you divide the two to end up with your retention rate. So donor retention to me is like relationship. It’s it’s strengthening the relationship. They’re, they’re retain they’re, they’re sticking with you. And I love thinking about the fundraising strategies and diagrams. I’m a picture person. And what I love about this image of the fundraising cycle is it’s a circle, it never ends, you never really get to say, I’m done. And that’s, I think, is a good thing because it represents opportunities to just keep strengthening that relationship. The other thing that I like about this picture in particular is where donor retention falls. So again, I’m thinking of donors who are being retained or those donors who believe in what you’re doing and want to partner with me. So I’ve already done all the other steps to get them to be where they’re at. Now I need to just Stay with them and continue to strengthen that relationship. And maybe they will be upgraded just organically because they’re getting to know what I’m doing as a nonprofit. Or maybe I need to do a more formal ask. So the sub kind of title of this particular session that we’re in together today is how to grow donor retention in 2022. It was the ask, Oh, my goodness, ask thanks for import and repeat. And that’s exactly what we’re going to be talking about. And that donor retention is all about kind of keeping up the relationship and just keeping it healthy. So where do we want to start? Well, I believe when you start talking about strategies of any type, in this case, donor retention, you have to kind of know where you’re starting at. So one of the things that DonorPerfect offers, and I would imagine many other CRMs, donor management software’s out there are going to do something similar, is that you need to know, where are you at right now. And then DonorPerfect, we have an organization dashboard, which is just made up of a lot of different reporting widgets, and one of them is going to be donor retention. And these are metrics based on year over year performance. So right now, I’m seeing that in this little training environment, my little nonprofit that I have here that my donor retention rate is pretty strong, however, it’s down compared to the previous year. So it’s just, it’s, that’s where I’m at. So if I know that that’s where I’m at, what do I want to do to retain that 55.5% donor retention? Or bump it up? Let’s say to 57? What, what strategies do I need to put into place? What do I need to review? How can I improve? And this is just one way to do it. There’s reports, I’m just showing you one option. So I think starting point is knowing Are you reviewing all kinds of donation history and donors, are you going to look at a segment, then once you do that, you’re going to then discover where are you starting at. So right now I am at 55.5%. So now I know where I’m starting at as I’m looking ahead to 2022. So now that I know where I’m starting, now let’s talk about three ideas that you can try or think about today. So the first idea, I believe, that everybody should have is some sort of plan, create a donor retention strategy. Now for some people, they get really super jazzed about this other people, it is not a pleasant experience. But I think having a plan is really critical. Then after you have that plan, and I’ll show you what I mean by that, you definitely want to make sure that you are mastering the art of the Thank you Now many of you have said that
you are thanking your donors right now. And some of us emphasize that you’re doing it in a very timely manner. So even in those instances, I think it’s really useful to kind of step back and evaluate what message are the letters or the emails or the phone calls communicating? Are they donor centered? Or are they more about the nonprofit? So you really want to think about mastering the art or refining the art of the Thank you. And then another tried and true, it’s proven time and time again, to be a key element in strong donor retention is launching a monthly giving program. Now again, some of you might say, no, no, no, that’s too much work. Well, it doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be kept very simple. But you’re really just wanting to offer a way for your donors to simply support you on an ongoing basis. So these are the three things that I want to kind of talk through in our time remaining. So the first is, what is your organization’s donor retention strategy? So at their most basic core, what you want to think about is the ask, think, report, and repeat model. It’s that simple. So what’s your strategy is going to be asked thank rapport and repeat. Because again, it’s never ending. It’s always ongoing. So sometimes what you need to think through is the asking, like, how are you asking? When are you asking? Then sometimes you need to think about the like, what you’re offering is a peer to peer fundraising, are they going to be events are they going to be face to face or they’re going to be phone calls? And then you want to make sure that the thank you is done in a timely manner. If you’re gonna report which you could go back to the dashboard and DonorPerfect, you could run other reports to see, are we bumping and moving the needle at all? Or are we holding strong? So again, then you’re gonna go through the process again. Now one of the things that I think makes strategizing something like donor retention easy is you actually want to begin with the end in mind. So where is it that you want to go there? I say, what’s your goal? Then you’re going to work backwards to create a path. And then you can focus on building a repeatable and sustainable process. Alright, so that’s a lot of words, what in the world do I mean by that? Well, what I mean by that is map out something that is easy for you to see, here’s where we want to be at the end of 2022, when it comes to donor retention. And it may be as simple as something like this. So there are what 12 boxes, I broken it up into the quarters, and I can see kind of the work that I need to do and how I want to go about it. So you can see week one, I want to show gratitude, week three through six, I want to send a welcome pack, I want to show the impact. And then I’m going to ask and then again, you’re going to notice, appreciation might be another way of saying gratitude. So you can see how you’re mapping it out. Now you might say, Well, is this going to apply for all of my donors, maybe, maybe it’s just for people who are lapsed. Or maybe it’s for your new donors, it’s going to really depend on that segment. But I believe if you want a strong donor retention rate throughout 2022, you have to have a map in place to make this possible. Now one of the things that I am super proud of that we offer a DonorPerfect is we offer tools for you to be successful. And I would imagine that if you scour the universe of you know, all the various resources that are out there, you’re going to find something similar to the kits that we provide. And basically what those kits are, and I clicked ahead before I meant to, what those kits are going to entail are going to be templates. So for example, one of the things that you might find useful is something like this. So this is saying, I have new donors, so I’m going to focus on my new donors, I want to retain them, they’ve engaged with me, they’ve given the gift they’ve supported, but I need to get them to be my second time donor. So how do I do that? Well, what we are doing and supplying, and this is one of many examples is we’re providing the content, the material, kind of taking the the heavy lifting of coming up with some ideas, and just making it easier. I don’t know about you, I am really good at other things, but not so good at some things and wordsmithing. And coming up with like very gripping and creative messages in one paragraph, not my skill set. But I have a team that does, and I’m sure that is something that you might be able to say. And even if you don’t, because I know that a lot of you are wearing so many different hats, this is a resource that you may find useful. So it’s one example that we provide. There are others like this in the resources in our knowledge base. But the point of what I’m trying to get at here is that if you have a goal and a plan, then you can work backwards, and you can find where your gaps are at in terms of where okay, I’m strong here, but I need to fill in this gap, what resources are available. So come up with a good, realistic and simple doesn’t need to be complicated donor retention strategy and set your course for 2022. Now many of you are already doing what I think is going to be super important for the next option the next potential way to increase your donor retention. And that is rethinking how you say thank you. Now I don’t know if you’ve ever really stopped to preview how the how your organization says thank you what messages they use, the timeliness of it. But one of the things that really struck me when I saw this chart is the power, the strength in the number of the donor retention rate compared to the number of days thanked after receiving a gift. So if this doesn’t scream, the importance and value of saying thank you, I don’t know what would. But you might be thinking there is no way I can do that in the same day, do you know what else I have to do? Well, one of the things that I think is super important to kind of think through is put yourself in your donor shoes, what would be most meaningful to you to receive from a nonprofit that you support? Okay, timeliness is absolutely important. But it’s also the message, make sure that your donors are getting the message that is going to be about them that they’re going to feel, you know, kind of like that warm bear hug that you really appreciate what it is that they’re doing for you. So what do your donors really want? Well, I believe that they want an acknowledgment that the gift was received and that you were pleased to get it. The other thing now that one we may not be so you know, challenged that we might be pretty skilled at that. But this next one, are we doing? How are you doing in making sure that the donor has the assurance that the gift was set to work as intended? So
one of the things that a stat I liked is kind of support what I’m suggesting by statistics, so I don’t know how many of you are familiar familiar with the Burke donor survey pal, Penelope Burke, but private direct one on one communication is best. And many of you already supported that when I did my poll. But did you know that 92% of donor surveyed by Penelope Berg and her birth donor survey said that the acknowledgment is critically important. That’s a huge number, like acknowledge it. But then making sure that it was set to work as intended is equally important to our donors, they want to know that they are giving money that is going to be used the way that they intend. Now, the other thing that you may or may not necessarily think about is the way in which they’re getting them now, certainly, letters, emails, but have you ever considered videos, now I have a video clip here, well, maybe it’s gonna play, there it goes. Now you’re not going to hear it. But you can kind of see it short. If it loads, maybe it won’t load. It’s going to you can see it’s now loading, you’re not hearing anything. But my point is, there are times where you may need to mix it up to engage the donor to communicate in a way that really connects with them. And use of video is a great way. So in DonorPerfect World, we have this tool called DP video. But it doesn’t need to be part of any fancy application, it could just be something that you use your phone with. And there’s so many different options out there. But I think the main thing is just making sure that your donor knows that you are grateful for their gift, and it’s being set to work as intended. Now, just like I showed you some examples of that welcome email series kit, we also have a digital donor. Thank you kit. And so again, what’s what’s going to be included in this kit? is how to segment your donor thank yous. In other words, do they? Does everybody get the same message? Or do you kind of target that thank you message. Maybe it’s based on what they gave for or maybe it’s based on the amount or maybe it’s based on who kind of solicited the contribution. There are absolutely some best practices out there when it comes to emails, videos, and even letters but email and video for sure is something that is newish. And so you really want to kind of just rehearse and make sure that you’re meeting these best practices. Because the last thing you want is to turn your your your supporters off because the email was too long or too wordy or the wrong font too small to whatever I mean, the list can go on and on and on. You want to make sure that you are used to doing everything you can to connect with your donors, but you also need to make it livable. So we have some email thank yous templates that you can use. We even have some video scripts that you could use and and obviously modify. And the whole kind of takeaway of as I indicated in these kids, is that it’s it’s there to help you save time, but still have that positive impact with your donors. Now, every CRM out there that I know of has some capacity to do this, especially if it is As a fundraising CRM, in the DonorPerfect world, there’s a couple of things that I like to draw our attention to, is the ease at which you can acknowledge your gifts promptly. Because we have the ability to do this individually, when the you know, the the load, if you will, the volume is not so high, you might be able to add some really personal touches to it. But we also have it that it can be done automatically, if they give a gift online, we also haven’t that it can be done in a bulk. So when you are in those high volume times, like giving Tuesday and what’s coming up at the end of the year, but you want to make sure that you are doing it promptly and DonorPerfect can absolutely help with that. In all of those scenarios, you can personalize your thank yous, some you’re going to be able to be a little bit more personalized than others. And I’ll explain that in just a moment, you absolutely want to show the impact of your gift. So if you were raising money for a new animal shelter, and you had $5,000 to go, and that was part of what you were asking for, be sure to tell them that you met the goal and that there’s a new shelter and the brown groundbreaking data is going to be three months from today, please join me whatever the case may be, you want to make sure that you’re organized. Okay, now it says organize your thank you letters, I tend to think about this as more about organizing myself because I can get so caught up in the passion and the excitement of receiving contributions that I’m just kind of scattered. There’s ways that DonorPerfect can help organize your thank you letters, and DonorPerfect can absolutely help save time on data entry. So just a quick kind of peek into the world of DonorPerfect. And again, what I’m suggesting here is really something that I think many of you are familiar with. But I think one of the things that I always like to encourage people to kind of do, and this is the perfect time to do it. Is that audit? How are we doing? I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the show, undercover cop undercover, not cop Undercover Boss Undercover Boss, where the owners, business owners or CEOs would go into their company’s disguise to see how their business was operating. I think the same same should be true for what we do. Go in and kind of give a donation anonymously and see how you do in the in getting that timely Thank you read it or maybe have somebody that is you know, a trusted friend that may not necessarily be supporting you. But have them walk through the process. And just see how are you doing when it comes to saying thank you? What’s the messages that are being sent? Are they meaningful? Are they conveying the right message. So in DonorPerfect, a couple of things that we like to kind of just highlight is when you receive contributions, obviously they can be manually entered if they’re received in the mail, it can also be brought in through online giving, and so forth. But regardless of where or how the gift gets gets entered, there’s always going to be the option that from within the gift record, you can thank the donor. And everybody has different thoughts about whether the thank you and can be an email or it can be a letter. But one of the things that I like to just highlight regardless is that you can personalize this use pictures, make sure that you’re sharing the impact. If they’re not email, the same similar easy process can be done through letters.
And you’re watching what I’m doing. And I’m pulling up things very quickly with just a couple of clicks. These things are templates. So the templates reside in DonorPerfect, you get to modify them, those kits that I was suggesting, are going to make it easy for you to build out. A couple of other things that I just want to draw your attention to, as I said, we have this tool for video. Here is where we can send a video, you can do this in a one off scenario. You could also do it with a group, depending on the nature of your fundraising, like appeal and how you want to thank the donors. Of course there are lots of other kind of facets to thanking your donors. But I’m wondering if you were to think about what you’re currently doing, and the messages, and again, if you want to share great so this may be more of a rhetorical question. How would you rate yourself on a scale of one to 10. One we need to get started. And you know, this is this is good, I liked those stats or worked were 10, we have figured this out, maybe you’re somewhere in between, maybe you need to say, Okay, well in the timeliness factor, we’re at us eight, but in the impact in the message, maybe we’re at a five or maybe we’re at a nine. So really just give yourself the permission to review how are you doing, and take the time to sit, maybe make it your goal, because I can tell you from my own firsthand experience, and the data also supports it is that this is one one way that you can retain your donors. Great and people thanks for sharing, I mean, some people are are being very transparent in the in the messaging about looking at personalizing, we could do more. And look, things we’re busy, we know that so take advantage of the resources that are out there. And it and it’s okay, you can modify it, but it takes the pressure off of coming up with something on your own. Alright, so the last strategy that I want to kind of highlight is launching a monthly giving program. Now I realized that when I say those words, some people might just be tuning me out, like there is no way that I can take anything else on. Well, one of the things and again, I’m gonna do a little bit of arm twisting just a little bit, because this is another one of those really valuable strategies, if you will, for strong donor retention. And let me just throw up some numbers. So this is based on our DonorPerfect data. So what I’m here showing you right now is all about DonorPerfect. Our customers who are using DonorPerfect. So right now, A, the average monthly gift is $53. If you look at this next one right over here, and I’m trying to pull out my little highlighter, there we go. Okay, one time donors 50 $50 monthly donors 360. Now this is median. Okay, so this is an average, this is median, that’s seven times more. So that means you pick the highest and the lowest, often you’re going right in the middle of the list 360, that’s seven times more that is just in my mind, simply kind of amazing. All right, let’s move on. And look at some other numbers. And again, just based on DonorPerfect information and data, lifetime value. Now, I don’t know how many of you look at the lifetime value. So this is a number that you really want to kind of use as a way to measure I think health donor health. So the lifetime value of a one time dot donor is $70. Look at what it is for monthly. Again, this is based on median median that mounts based on average lifetime of over six and a half years. Pretty amazing numbers. All right now we’re here to learn about donor retention. This next one is pretty amazing in and of itself. Okay, so only three out of 10 one time donors give again, look at the number to the right 8.5 out of 10 monthly donors continue giving year after year. So let me ask you another way would you rather receive Okay, now it’s not going to be huge 101 $100 gift, or $120, year after year after year. So that 120 is broken down $10 Every month, so $10 a month, a lot of people can fit into their budgets, the one $100 gift that’s a little bit more of a stretch for some people. So the idea of monthly giving is that you’re going to break it up into smaller amounts that can be given for the long haul. So if it’s even for the long haul, then you’re going to retain your donors. And you’re also going to be making more money because is it $10 A month for 12 months or nothing at all. Because again, a lot of people won’t give you $100 They might give you $50 In that one time gift because that was again, remember the average. So there’s a lot of kind of data and science out there in terms of the value of monthly giving. Now one of the things that don’t repeat effect offers is okay, a donor signs up to be a monthly donor is that ongoing monthly processing, if they sign up to be a monthly donor and pay that electronically, we have an automatic processor, that’s just going to keep it going for you, you don’t have to remember to process that transaction DonorPerfect is going to do that for you. So I hope that just at least thinking about it is giving you some reason to pause and maybe pursue it a bit more. So a couple of things to think about when you want to start a monthly giving program. And let me just pause and say, even if you’re not ready to start a full on monthly giving program, I would encourage you to at least find a way and many times this is going to be done in an online form, to give your donors the opportunity to make become a recurring donor, and just see if they will do it. And then as you see if there’s some interest, and maybe that’s less stressful for you, then you can make it more of an official program. Now, I say that I think sometimes just jumping into the deep end is worth it. But if you want to think about this, we do have a monthly giving starter kit. That again is one of those resources that’s going to walk you through the process. We have lots of resources, lots of people that it would be thrilled to partner with you to help you get this off the ground. But a couple of things to be mindful of when you want to think about and start a monthly giving program is make sure someone owns a program is and is committed to its success. There is value in naming your monthly giving program. And it can be something as simple as champions, ambassadors, sustainers. And I bet if I polled, you know, what’s the name of your monthly giving program, we would get some really creative names, trust me, I’ve seen some really creative names. This next one is really, really important. Ask your donors to give on a monthly basis. Think about it yourself. If you were asked to support an organization, and they asked you to become a monthly donor, and it’s somebody that you’re really passionate about, you can really get behind their mission outside of the organization you’re working for. Would you do it? If you’re asked, chances are, you would. Now there are, you know, reasons why you may not. But one of the things that strikes me and I’ve heard it in so many different seminars and workshops that I’ve participated in. And I know it to be true is people give to people plain and simple. Set the recurring as the default gift type for your online forms, which is something that I suggested before you even start in the official program, just make it part of the process. Now let’s talk about saving time because again, I know that there’s this tension this interest in wanting to grow your donor retention. So it’s the Ask the thank the report, repeat model, but there also needs to be kind of undergirded with it needs to be realistic, you need to survive it. So how can DonorPerfect help? Well, four ways to automate your monthly giving program is use online forums. I don’t know necessarily how your organization operates. But I hope that you have some sort of online forum presence for your part, the people who want to partner and support you.
DonorPerfect offers automatic monthly giving, in other words, the donor signs up but then DonorPerfect kind of takes it from there because we are our own payment facilitator. Make sure that you send a thank you. And again DonorPerfect has a capability of sending out automatic receipts an automatic thank you I say the word receipts, and that makes it official, but more audit accustom. Thank you. And one of the other pieces is you know, cards expire, and you don’t want to be tricked chasing that down. So use the technology that’s out there for the automatic account updating. I’ll go through some of this if time permits, and there’s interest, but there’s definitely ways that don’t are perfect, and I would imagine others can can help automate some of this. The other piece is you want to make sure that your supporters those who have interest in what you’re doing, know about it. So make sure that you spotlight monthly giving on your website, your emails and your social media sites. And here’s a big one. Let’s be real. Everybody has been hit in a very different way. Coming out of the pandemic and budgets are very different than what they once were before the pandemic. And so one of the things that I think is more important than ever, is to make sure that your supporters those who you are asking to become a monthly donor can see the tangible outcomes of what they’re doing. So $5 a month gives a dog’s month worth of food. $10 a month gives a dog’s gives a dog a month’s worth of food and a toy. $20 a month gives a dog a month’s worth of food, a toy and a blanket. So you’re kind of you’re making it very much within reach. And then one of the things that is super important going back to that thank you piece is to make sure that you’re turning around and saying thank you for that $5, Fido was just given a month’s worth of food. And again, it’s all about that messaging. But I think, you know, the thing that I find that is super helpful for me and I can only speak for myself, is if I try and remember to put myself in the shoes of the people who I’m asking to be supporters and partners with me. It makes it easier like Well, Kelly, you wouldn’t want to receive that. Why would you think somebody else would want to receive that and kind of do that own internal check. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, maybe ask to find somebody who can help you with that. But I think this one piece, breaking it down into smaller chunks that translate into tangible outcomes is super, super important. Now, like everything else, and I’ve already mentioned it, we do have lots of template kits and hubs to help you. And in this particular guide, the monthly giving communications template kit, you’re going to find the importance in suggestions for naming your monthly giving program, how to promote your monthly giving program, thanking Your generous monthly donors, spotlighting your monthly giving on your website, emails, and social media sites. So I’m glancing at the clock, I think I have a minute to go in my presentation. So I’m going to end with a poll and then we’ll open it up to q&a. So now that you’ve had some time to think through your donor retention strategies, are you going to stay the course? Have you just kind of had some moments to think and yet? Yep, we’re gonna stay the course what we did in 2021, we’re going to repeat in 2022 Or no, I think we’re going to review our Thank you process, maybe message, maybe you’re going to review the monthly giving what might you be willing to sink through and really commit to for 2022 for retaining your donors into the new year? Look at naming your monthly giving program, highlighting your monthly giving on your website. Have to bring some order into the pieces of strategy. Okay, you need to make some changes for 2022. All right. Let’s see any others that are people are willing to share some great ideas here.
Utilize available time, time saving tools. Yes. Show the impact, I have to tell you the impact of of showing and sharing that impact is just amazing. Like the stories that I have heard in 2021. Like that our customers have shared with me since I the lead training specialists are just beautiful. And I don’t want to hear that. It’s just it’s really kind of amazing. Unless more people in the thanking process. Fantastic. All right. Well, thank you for your time. I’m going to open this up to some q&a. And I think Heather is coming back to help with that. I’m not sure if Oh, there she is. Okay, great. Heather, what do we have for some questions?
Well, thank you so much, Kelly. You know, we have a lot of webinars, and half of them, quite frankly, aren’t very good. And this one was very useful. I always appreciate practical to the point, information that people can walk away and actually do something with and then the data to back it up. So thank you very much for a webinar. That’s not boring. Yay. All right. So there were a couple of questions that came in and the first one that I’m going to start with is when I was having myself which there was a moment where you were inside of DonorPerfect Then you went in and you hit, you know, send thank you email. And you can customize it at that point, or you can send a print letter. And so what I was thinking with the donor retention is there was a stat early on something like 60% will give again, if you think them within 24 hours. So is the automated thank you email, you know that you get five minutes after you make a donation. Is that not enough? Or are you suggesting another follow up email that’s more personalized, maybe even might be still automated, but it has, like a staff member’s name or? Or what’s the difference between in donor retention world between the automated and what is considered personal?
That’s a great question. And I think, you know, what I have noticed in 2021, the definition of personal has become a little bit more than just a name. But I think the name is a starting point, like you need to include the name and the the amount that they’ve given. So one question that you’re alluding to, is, when you think about an online experience, can you send like that email that they receive? Can that count, it absolutely can count. But I think some of it is going to depend on the tool that you’re using as to whether and this is just taking a moment to load as to whether you can make it personalized. So here’s an example of from within DonorPerfect, where you can absolutely see that you’re personalizing it. Now if you want to, you know, tell more about what the donor has done besides who they are and the gift the amount that they’ve just gave, then that’s where I think you might need to go a little bit further. And that would be potentially utilizing some of what’s available in DonorPerfect. Because here, if again, if you’re doing it in a one off scenario, you could very quickly and easily again, thank them and make it more personal. But you know how personal when you’re thinking, I think what’s most important is their name, the amount and then the impact, where I think you can really speak about who the donor is and shoot and kind of reflecting back that you know who they are, might be more in your solicitations, your asks, rather than your thinking.
So now a lot of this is automated, like you’re doing and perfect or other CRMs and fundraising software’s you live in this world, or they’re nonprofits that are still just, you know, they get in, they get in a donation, and then they’re like manually sending this is this still calm comment, or my assumption is that most of its automated now. But is there are there still nonprofits that are like, Oh, we got a donation? Let me send him a thank you email.
Yes, there are, there are a lot of organizations that are still like that. And in fact, at least in kind of what I’ve observed is there’s if you tend to be on the small to mid range size, and you don’t have a strong CRM, or maybe doesn’t offer some of these email capacity, capabilities, letters are still being used. And I’ve seen that happening as well, simply because some, some people who work at the at a nonprofit don’t necessarily know enough about email and how to make it personal. So they use the letter, but I will say this, the data out there is a letter will work a letter letters are coming back, just like phone calls are coming back. And I think some of that is because of the pandemic because we’ve been email like email has been saturated. So there’s that balance between automatic and timeliness and personalization. And you kind of have to find what fits for you. I think the biggest takeaway is saying thank you.
Okay, great. And so you mentioned some resources, I just want to verify those will be in the email that will be sent with the recording within 24 to 72 hours, is that right?
Yes. Now, in terms of the resources, all of these, the resources that would be included are the kits, if you will, okay, beyond that I am not the person who actually clicks the button the Sunday but I will certainly follow up with the person who does to make sure that those resources are included.
Okay, so here’s the good, thank you for that. Here’s a good question. Would you recommend the same level of engagement and thank you acknowledgement for each donation? or should there be Next Level Communications for donors of a higher level? So sending out that automated Thank you check for the $50 donation, but should there be a flag or something that comes up different, let’s say if they make an online donation of 500?
That’s a great question. And it’s my knee jerk reaction is yes. So the reason let me just clarify the reason I’m saying that is I still think that automatic Thank you will kind of communicate timeliness Every organization has a threshold of what’s considered if you will, a larger gift. And for some organizations that might be $200, for other than that might be 5000. And I think that when whatever that threshold is, in terms of kind of potential major donors, or maybe there’s a jump in a donation size, is you probably do want to follow up with those donors in a different way. So one of the things that DonorPerfect offers is this kind of automated business rules called a smart action. And they can create a kind of a task for you to do. So I know a couple of people shared at the beginning getting your board involved. I don’t have it right in front of me. But I remember and I read it multiple times that if your board does the thanking, the engagement, and the retention and the size of the next gift by those donors is really quite remarkable. So I think following up with a personalization to say, thank you, that could be a video that could be another that could be a letter, that could be a call, that could be another email where you’re just telling a little bit more about your story and giving them the opportunity to participate in supporting you again, I absolutely do think that. Yes, is the answer to that. I think it does warn it. Because again, now we’re kind of switching gears from donor retention and moving into major gifts just a little bit. But if you think about having major donors, you every nonprofit is going to have to have some of that. And I think that diversified kind of structure, in terms of your donors is really important for the long haul. And I think that is step one is kind of saying something to those donors, pulling them out of the pile, if you will, in whatever format works for you. I mean, because I saw on one of the chats, what do I do, I’m one person, and I think you prioritize you figure out what is most important, and you prioritize, and if that is just getting your thank yous more in order, that’s what you do. If you can get a board member to make some calls, then you do that. So I think you just kind of have to figure out what’s most important, but I do think, saying thank you, in a different way. And a second time for those larger gifts is going to be important. Great, thank
you. So when I first got started in online fundraising, we didn’t even which was a while ago, we didn’t even talk about donor retention. And all the focus was on acquiring new donors. And then over the last four to five years, I’ve been seeing those types that donor retention is really low. The nonprofit’s are spending all this time getting new donors, whether it’s $25, from somebody that found them on Facebook, or somebody that signed up from an email newsletter, but then they’re losing them the next year. So interesting. Like if you just spend more time focusing on the thank you process or building your monthly giving program, it’s less time than you would spend acquiring new donors. Would you say that’s true?
I would absolutely say that’s true. And in fact, I would also go so far as that you might want to make part of like a monthly checklist for yourself to run a report of who are the donors that have just given one gift. And kind of focusing on them too, because the data, I want to say it’s 69%, if you can get a donor to go from one time, a first time gift to their second gift, the donor retention of those second time gift donors is at 69%. It’s like jumps, it’s like some crazy number. And again, I don’t have it right in front of me. But when I read that, and then I started reading it over and over again. It’s it’s, it’s it’s definitely motivation to really kind of connect with those one time donors and start building the relationship. I read one thread in analogy where, you know, the first time donors, it’s like dating, you know, you go out and your date for your first time and what do you do like you like the person, okay, this is really kind of cool. In you’re all excited about keeping it exciting. And I think that’s one way fun way to think about it, for getting donors from a one time gift to the second time and definitely monthly recurring donors as a way, a way to help in that way in that kind of category.
Okay, so there are tons of questions, and I’m looking at time got four minutes. And when we have somebody who just kind of lives and breathes this, I want to ask you a bigger picture. Some of the detailed ones, like how can I learn how to design online forms? Or what’s the difference between a thank you email and a receipt. But while I’ve got you before he may even get through those last two, and thinking about the jump we’ve had during pandemic giving over the last 1820 months, whatever it’s been just this onslaught of new donors, which is great, but then we’re starting to hear you know, whispers of they’re not giving as much we’re losing donors. So 2022 Seems like the year of Wow, we got all these new donors during the pandemic. Now let’s focus on donor retention in 2020 to keep them around. Have you had any discussions? Or are you hearing this? Are there challenges already to kind of these no new donors that have come in in response to COVID? Are what what’s your take on that for 2022? Um,
I definitely have heard those murmurings. And I know some of the things that we have, I have been involved in personally, DonorPerfect is we are really trying to equip our customers with how to find the first time donors and turn them into second gift donors. So we have had forums, we’ve had like webinars focusing on getting second gifts, and really just kind of xuer zeroing in on it. Now granted, some nonprofits in the sectors are going to have far higher numbers of those than others. But I think it really does represent a great opportunity for 2020 to to focus on like the recapturing, keeping them engaged. And it’s almost you want to be as creative and out of the box in your thinking for ways of engaging them. And we did a webinar where we had a panel of our customers, and one of the things that every customer that was on our panel said is just talk to your donors just keep them informed. And it doesn’t need to be fancy, it doesn’t need to be long. In fact, shorter is better, like the communicate and the amount of information, chunked it up into smaller things, keep them informed, because they, they they chose you in the craziness of the pandemic to support you. So they chose you. So that’s a win. So now you’re trying to keep them informed and keep them engaged. You don’t need to give them present, like they don’t want much from you except to just be informed. And you know, and to be told that their money is making a difference. And so I think that really just that really struck me because I was like, Oh, well, it doesn’t need to be complicated. I do think the power of videos, use your phone. I mean, everybody has a mobile device that has a video capability. It doesn’t need to be published. They just want to know what’s going on. So I absolutely think what you’re hearing 2022 is going to be about donor retention and keeping those donors. The other thing that I think is probably bubbling up to the top in my conversations for 2022 are trying to look at who are the potential major donors and maybe you don’t have a major gift program or a gift major gift officer. But you certainly can segment your list to say here are the donors who are new one time, and then here are the potentials and you just focus on those two. And, and that just like that’s it, I mean, everything else is going to be what it is. But you just kind of pick and make that strategy, map it out, draw PO boxes and figure out okay, this is what I want to do in January. This is what I want to do in February. And it’s can be very much within reach. But I do think I agree with you, Heather, I am absolutely hearing the same thing. And I do think retention is going to be a lot of what’s happening in 2022.
All right, so last question, which is a better investment of time and nonprofit investing and donor retention in 2022 or a nonprofit investing in Tik Tok in 2022.
That’s a tough one. Tick tock could be part of your donor retention strategy.
Yeah. Okay, great. So the lat I just want to jump quickly to the gentleman that was asking about donation forms and how to design them. DonorPerfect. And any good fundraising software right now should have like dragging and dropping easy to design in terms of best practices, like do ask for a phone number. And all of that the Google machine comes up with great articles such as donation page best practices. And then just the last question just so we can reiterate again, is Donovan’s asking what is the is what is the difference between the receipt email that goes out automatically and the one where maybe another person said they send out the automated receipt and then four days later they send a more personalized email and contact information do you think that’s a good strategy the the here’s your you know automated receipt or just define the difference between receipt and a thank you.
Okay, so thank you doesn’t have to have like the tax ID information, if you will. Some for some, they will, they will have it all kind of compiled into one. For others. The receipt is the official amount deed physical location tax id like the things that are required by the government that in the country that you’re located. So for some nonprofits thanks queue and receipt are interchangeable. They’re interchangeable words just because of the way they formatted those things. But when I get right down to it, thanking is telling them the story, how your money is being used, you certainly can include the gift amount. But when you start getting into the official pieces of what’s required for the country that you’re in, that really qualifies as a receipt. So again, that might be interchangeable, depending on where you’re located and the type of nonprofit that you are. But for others, they really are two distinct things.
Yeah, I think that clarity is important and actually kind of helps the bigger picture of understanding and creating a strategy receipt versus Thank you. And on that note, thank you, Kelly. And thanks to everyone who attended today, you want to perfect we’ll send a link to the recording as well as some links to the resources she mentioned within 24 to 72 hours. If you don’t have it, be sure to check your spam folder, or increasingly, the promotions tab in Gmail if within 72 hours you don’t have the link to the recording. All right. Thanks so much, everyone. I really appreciate it and happy holidays.
Thank you. Okay, can you bye bye.
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