I saw some data recently from an organization that loses 50% of their donors every year.
That’s a massive, massive challenge. It reveals all of their emphasis goes toward recruiting.
Only one group is getting the information they need, while those who stand to be retained or regained have long since “left the building” so to speak.
We always suggest creating and using master lists each year. A breakdown of who you’re working to keep, who you need to win back, and who you need to continue to report to and thank keeps you motivated.
Master lists keep you sharp and focused on the work.
Knowing where to aim improves your chances at hitting your target.
So, where to start?
Define your lists.
Firstly, take a look at the people who gave last calendar year. You want them to give again this year. These are your donors to retain.
Next, look at the list of donors to regain. These are people who havn’t given yet this year. They didn’t give last year, but they gave within the 3 years before that.
Reporting and thanking are both essential and key to retaining and regaining donors. You worked hard to get them – dedicate yourself as dearly to keeping them!
If you retain nearly all and regain some, your giving tends to go up!
Define your 200.
Your next checklist should be made up of 100 to 200 individuals you’ll invest a disproportionate amount of time, energy, and focus into.
You simply can’t grow giving significantly beyond incrementally. And you can’t do this beyond 200 people at a time. You may have a thousand people you could communicate with. You might have 500 people you could reach out to.
However, you can only build deeper relationships in a way that changes people’s giving behaviors with up to 200 at one time.
We cannot manipulate people into giving. All we can do is build relationships and help them see what God is doing and guide them through a decision making process, if they give us the opportunity.
Define your follow-up.
Every person on your team, even if you’re a team of one, should have a selected portion of the prospect list to shepherd.
These are people you’ve already met or spoken with; you’ve shared your mission and vision. Whether you as the leader or volunteers from your organization are the ones reaching out, someone is making that touch via phone to thank.
Remember, in development we’re simply moving people along a continuum of impact. We move individuals from not giving to giving, from giving to repeated giving, from repeated giving to long term giving.
Retain, regain, recruit. These are the categories we’re working with this year from now till July, at which point we start over and run through the cycle again.
Even in the middle of the most challenging years, keep in mind, it’s all about getting people, in today’s busy and news saturated world, to actually think, pray, and make a decision.
Move someone along today, and do the same tomorrow. You got this and we’re behind you!
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