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Allyson Kapin 5 min read

#GivingTuesday: Just One Piece of the Puzzle

It's that time of year, and #GivingTuesday campaigns are beginning across the nation. As a matter of fact, CrowdRise just launched a #GivingTower Holiday Challenge for nonprofits.

And while #GivingTuesday is a big deal for fundraising, it's also just one way to engage your donors. But, what about the long haul?

This is the 3rd post in a series of Donor Love, inspired by Blackbaud's Show the Love: Thoughtful Engagement to Retain Donors.

How to focus on the long haul:

  1. Pay attention to your annual donor renewal rate. Has it decreased/increased? You should be tracking this each year, and it should inform your strategic plan for the next year. Track what works and what doesn't. Just because internally your organization thinks a campaign or tactic is great, it doesn't mean that it's resonating with your donors.
  2. Give your donors some lovin'. In Dearest Donors: A Love Letter we talked about the importance of thanking your donors, reaching out to them (and not just when you want money), and creating a donor retention calendar. Make sure to thank your donors whether they're big, small, monthly, or one-time. Every of their dollars counts, and shows that people care about your organization. You need to show them that you care right back.
  3. Strive for monthly sustainers. Monthly givers will bring in much more money over the long haul than one time gifts. And a monthly gift of $20 is more doable for many people than a single donation of $240.

    Entice your audience to become monthly sustainers through direct mail, special events, face-to-face engagements, and online. Donors acquired by direct mail generally have the greatest lifetime value of all monthly donors. By reaching out across all channels, you're meeting your donors where they're at.

    Blackbaud's report showed that monthly givers donate two or three times more in a year than they would if they only gave a single gift.

  4. Get specific. And by specific, we want you to get a bit personal. Don't just acknowledge your donors generally, instead show pictures of your actual donors (if they're okay with it), and take some time to thank each donor individually instead of sending a mass email. You want your donors to feel special, because where would you be without them?
  5. Craft unforgettable messages. If your constituents can't forget about you, you'll be on their mind when it's time to donate. You don't want to bore your donors. These messages are vital to the donor lifeline. Focus on the human-side of messaging, not just the numbers. While numbers and transparency are important, so are the stories.

    How are you making a difference? What change are you envisioning for the world, and how have you actually succeeded? What have your constituents done to impact this world, and why are you thankful? Use captivating photos, be creative, and feel free to have fun when sharing these moments. These will be the messages that make your donors come back again, and again.

Are you making sure that your #GivingTuesday campaigns and your year-end campaigns have a focus on donor retention? What are your best strategies for this?


Allyson Kapin

Allyson has been named one of "Top Tech Titans" by the Washingtonian, one of the Most Influential Women In Tech by Fast Company, and one of the top 30 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter by Forbes for her leadership role in technology and social media. As Founding Partner of Rad Campaign, she leads the firm's client and online strategic services. For over a decade Allyson has helped non-profit organizations and political campaigns create dynamic and award-winning websites and online marketing and recruitment campaigns. She works side-by-side with her clients to meet their web needs and maximize their online effectiveness to create real world impact.