Donor Retention Tips to Increase Response

Write Choice Marketing

Get your donors to give and give again, by using these donor retention tips to increase response. Here’s how to do it:

By communicating more frequently and giving donors an increased opportunity to give, they will give again.

Send a compelling renewal mailing or email appeal at least once a month to segments of your donor file and you’ll be sure to increase their overall commitment to your organization using these techniques.

Send a Follow Up mailing

Enhance your best performing appeals by mailing a follow-up package three weeks later. Follow up mailings are cost effective ways to get additional donations from the same creative package you just mailed. By printing twice as much the printing costs will be less. Consider changing the envelope teaser copy and if you’re mailing a premium you should consider testing the follow up without the premium inside.

Include a Certificate of Appreciation

Send your core donors a certificate of appreciation. Adding an appeal with a certificate of appreciation to a segmented portion of your donor file, is a great way to show your donors you care. Including this mailing during a month that you normally don’t communicate with your donors will bring in those extra donations your organization truly needs.


Personalize your appeal letters. Personalization provides a stronger connection to your donor and will increase the response of your direct mail packages too.

Enhance your acknowlements

Include a donation card in your acknowledgment packages to allow your donors to give another gift. Acknowledgements should be viewed as donation opportunities. While you shouldn’t ask for another gift in an acknowlemgnet, the reply envelope is a gentle reminder that donations are welcome and appreciated.

Obtain a second gift in year one

Do everything you can to obtain a second gift in the first year a donor gives support to your organization.

Did you know: Donors who make an additional gift in their first year are twice as likely to make a gift in their second year.

Thank Donors

Thanking new donors immediately is critical. Accomplish this with a welcome letter and reply envelope. Nonprofits have about 90 days after the first donation to form a relationship. After 90 days retention drops dramatically.

Mail Your best donors more often

Build a relationship by segmenting your file and mailing your best donors more often.

Did you know that the majority of planned gifts come from donors who give 15 or more times during their lifetime?

What works for your oganization? Share with us your success stories or your trials and tribulations with donor retention on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, and don’t forget to “follow” us too!

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