There are times when nonprofits become clueless if they are moving in the right direction or not. It is not necessarily due to lack of trying but can often be that they can not see the trees from the forest. Everyone wants to be moving in an upward trajectory and these few ideas may be helpful and get you back on track.
- Focus on retention which is so crucial to the well being of any nonprofit. Even a slight increase in investor retention can close a large gap in your fund raising objectives. The more past givers continue to increase their giving, the more the board should be thanking them personally. Believe it or not, the more investors you retain, the less money you have to lay out for the cultivation of new prospects.
- Once a new investor has completed their first gift, your next consideration should be to contemplate the second gift. Data shows that the average retention rate for a new investor is 22.9%. However, if they make a second gift that percentage jumps to 60.8%. It makes complete sense that after the first gift someone should start building a relationship by personally calling them and inviting them for coffee or lunch and contact them regularly until the next gift cycle. However, it may be possible to ask for a second in the next 60 – 90 days because your cultivation strategy worked miracles.
- The next best strategy after a cultivation strategy is an excellent communication strategy. This is not about drowning your investors with lots of reading materials or constant contact, it is more about them understanding the difference their gift made to the organization. It is also about learning what will engage your investor to give more. Do they want to be a volunteer? Do they want to meet the echelon of your board members or senior staff? Once again it is all about building relationships.
- It is also important to learn what method of communication works best for each individual investor or prospect. Some people only want the written word, others prefer all forms of social media, some only want to hear from someone they consider to have authority to make decisions or someone who can give them information that is not often handed out.
These are four very common tracks that many nonprofits forget and then are more confused when their retention rate starts to decline.