Insights to Power Social Good

Stink at Donor Retention? Use Mobile – Part Two.

Posted by Elizabeth Same on Mar 13, 2014 10:39:00 AM


NPEngage_part_2Welcome to part two of our donor retention series. Miss part one? Get it 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 a better job of 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. Catch up on the first four tips, and then dive into the next four tips below.

  1.        Shanon Doolittle, Doogooder

Be a nice human. Say thank you, care deeply, and value kindness. Be unpredictable and unforgettable. Make your donors smile, celebrate their generosity, and tell them how they made the world a better place. Remember, the goal isn’t retention, it’s meaningful relationships.

mTip: In mobile, we often talk about the ROR (return on relationships) instead of just looking at how many text donations you need. While these are great KPI’s to keep your campaign on track, they aren’t the only number to think about. Only looking at your text donations is like finding $10 on the street and making that your new fundraising strategy! Use mobile to build meaningful relationships and the rest will follow.

  1.        Vanessa Chase, Philanthropy for All

An effective donor retention strategy requires a plan and consistent action. Regularly keep in touch with your donors and show them loyalty – that you care – beyond just making the ask.

mTip: If a supporter gives you their mobile number, that means they want to hear from you! Don’t just text them every few months when you need to hit fundraising goals. Work with your account manager to create a comprehensive mobile communication plan, and then stick to it. Did you collect subscribers at your last event? Tell them how it went. Did you ask them to sign a petition? Let them know when you have collected enough names. Clients consistently see higher retention rates when they regularly communicate with their mobile database.

  1.         Pamela Grow, The keys to building an effective donor retention strategy lie in:
Thanking donors well — and promptly
Speaking your donors’ language — lose the jargon!
Creating a communications calendar with a minimum of 12 touches per year
Sharing the stories of how your donors’ gifts are making a difference
Understanding customer service and how it translates to donor service
Building a culture of philanthropy throughout your organization
…and, I believe, most importantly, truly understanding your donor’s motivations in giving.

mTip: Use this advice to craft your mobile plan. Thank your donors, schedule at least one message a month (up to four if you have relevant information to share), tell your subscribers how they are helping and don’t forget to ask them what they are interested in.

  1.        Claire Axelrad, CFRE, Clairification

Don’t treat your donors like gumballs. Chew ‘em up. Spit ‘em out! Don’t stick ‘em in your database to save for later. You’ll forget they’re there. Enjoy them now; then practice a year-round attitude of gratitude. Think from the gumball’s perspective. It’s happy to be enjoyed; that’s why it’s there. But it wants to know it made an impact. Now! Embrace ‘thank you’ as the beginning of the donor relationship, not the end. It’s give and take. Don’t just take. Find out more about it. Invite its friends over. Don’t wait until the next time you want a gumball to tell this one how you feel.

mTip: It’s great to collect mobile numbers and grow your mobile database, but then what!? If you just leave them there, your mobile subscribers are going to lose interest… or worse, dismiss your organization because you didn’t cultivate the relationship. Then when you do finally message them, months after you asked for their number, they are going to be annoyed and uninterested, and even worse, opt-out as a subscriber.  It’s like giving your number to someone, and then not hearing from them for several months – you are going to move on.  Schedule your messages so you know they are least getting one communication from you each month.

Mobile means more. With near-100 percent open rates, and 85 percent of those messages being read within 15 minutes, mobile is the best way to communicate with your donors. If you want donors to engage, say it with mobile.

Come back next week for even more great mTips.

Elizabeth_HeadshotElizabeth 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


Register for this month's FREE webinar with HubSpot! 

The Mobile Donor's Journey: How to Turn Click's into Constituents


Topics: nonprofit, mSpiration, Intermediate, Education, Innovation and Creativity

Receive Fundraising, Acquisition, and Cultivation Tips by Email

Resources to Mobilize Your Organization

2015 Text Donation Study

Follow Us

Most Popular Posts