Insights to Power Social Good

Stink at Donor Retention? Use Mobile – Part Three.

Posted by Elizabeth Same on Mar 20, 2014 1:29:00 PM


2_little_boys_textingWelcome to part three of our donor retention series. Miss part one and two? Get them here and here!

Earlier this year, NPEngage posted a great article with 12 tips from experts in the nonprofit industry. If you haven’t already, we highly recommend checking out the article, it’s full of excellent advice on how every nonprofit can do better on retaining donors.

We loved the article so much, that we wanted to show you how easy it is to incorporate these experts’ advice into your mobile strategy. We have been mobilizing these 12 tips over the past few weeks. Check out the first two blog posts here and here.

  1.        John Haydon, Author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies

The key an to effective donor retention strategy is to make your donors feel like they are the most important person in the world. Take a look at what charity: water did with their YouTube videos, or Epic Change with their thank you cards. On the surface, investments like these seem high. But when you consider how much they’ll talk about you with their friends, it’s totally worth it.

mTip: Looking to personalize your mobile channel? Easy…just segment! Do you have a group of rockstar volunteers or a few people who always make donations? Create a personalized Youtube video and send them a link over text. Get creative with how you appreciate your supporters, and don’t forget that mobile is the most personal device a person has. Maybe refocus this a little and link to the BFAS webinar?

  1.         Nancy E. Schwartz,

R-E-S-P-E-C-T is the key to donor retention:

Respect donors’ wants, even when they DON’T want to hear from you

mTip: Mobile is a permission based channel. If your mobile subscribers tell you they want to hear about volunteer information once a month, don’t bombard them with general updates the other three weeks. On the other hand, if they say they want to hear from you frequently through mobile – send them relevant messages!

Enlist your fundraising colleagues to segment donors so each one gets the right outreach every time (or no time)

mTip: You can segment to your heart’s desire with mobile. Work with your account manager to create communications strategies for each segment.

Start up a donor advisory board of folks willing to answer a few questions each month

mTip: Send out a mobile poll each month asking a few important questions each month

Put together an all-org donor listening team—Ask for help then show the WIIFM of donor feedback via tangible examples

mTip: It doesn’t matter what channel you are using, you need to know what your donors want.  

Execute a system to log, share and analyze donor insights throughout your organization

mTip: Work with your account manager or client experience manager and learn how to pull different reports to get even more insights on your donors and supports.

Course-correct at a moment’s notice—agility in adjusting your fundraising approach to what’s vital to your donors RIGHT NOW is a must

mTip: Keep in touch with your account manager. If you need to change your approach they can help you make that happen, especially if they know what’s going on!

Take stock of what’s still not working with your donor retention program and ask the donor advisory board how to do better!

mTip: There’s that mobile poll again!

  1.        Rachel Muir, CFRE, Nonprofit Consultant, Speaker & Trainer

The key to keeping your donors is building a relationship with them.  That relationship starts with thanking them in a thoughtful and meaningful way for their gift and it progresses by telling them frequently how they are making a difference.  As their giving grows and you learn more about them you can retain them and get them giving more by developing a cultivation plan that honors their interests and sets a revenue goal for your ask.  If you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there, but with a plan everything is possible.

mTip: One of our clients asked a celebrity to help them raise money through text donations. Sure, they raised money, but the real value was in the number of mobile subscribers (aka prospective repeat donors) that they secured. Later, the organization sent a mobile update to their subscribers. They had click through rates above 50% and retention rates at almost 100% because they were cultivating the relationship!

Use mobile to get people involved in your organization. The initial call-to-action is just the first step of your relationship. Send relevant information and show how they are helping to keep them involved in your mission.

  1.        Harvey McKinnon, Harvey McKinnon and Associates The key to donor loyalty is being loyal to your donors.

mTip: If you want you mobile database to be engaged with you, then you need to make the effort to engage with them.

So, there you have it; 12 tips from the experts, and some ways  on how to apply their advice to your mobile strategy. Make sure to check out the full blog post from NPEngage for a bonus tip, and some more donor retention data!

Don't miss our FREE webinar with HubSpot and learn how to turn clicks into constituents. Register here!



Elizabeth Same is the PR Coordinator for mGive . Elizabeth works on the internal mobile strategy to help educate nonprofits about the potential and benefits of this channel. She has a passion for how technology can change the nonprofit world, and in her free time volunteers with local nonprofits. She also manages the mGive Twitter handle @mGive. Connect with Elizabeth on LinkedIn



Topics: mSpiration, Education, Mobile Engagement

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