How to Engage Repeat Donors

Engaging repeat donors who give on an annual, quarterly, monthly or even daily basis is key for any fundraising-based organization. But, it can be challenging to reach donors in the first place, let alone engage them long-term.

How to Engage Repeat Donors

After your emails, postcards, phone calls, Facebook posts, and numerous Instagram live streams, you were able to meet your fundraising goals. Then the next quarter rolls around and it feels like you’re starting at square one again. It’s time to approach fundraising differently!

Engaging repeat donors who give on an annual, quarterly, monthly or even daily basis is key for any fundraising-based organization. The ultimate goal is to develop a membership group that is committed to continuous, ongoing micro-donations and have a funding source hooked up to ensure seamless donations. But, it can be challenging to reach donors in the first place, let alone engage them long-term. This article will dig into strategies and resources for driving repeat donors that organizations of any size can implement.

Why invest in engaging repeat donors?

When you engage donors initially, it takes time to build a relationship and establish trust. When donors come back and donate multiple times, their overall Donor Lifetime Value (DLV) increases. Typically, it’s easier to continue building relationships with existing donors over always seeking out new donors. This isn’t to say that you should never look for new donors, only to highlight the value of also continuing to follow up with individuals who have given in the past.

Repetitive donors also help provide a level of stability and predictability. It’s hard to anticipate what programming you’ll be able to support when you’re at the mercy of one-time donors. When donors give on a regular basis, you can forecast more effectively. In fact, many Millennial donors (40%) are enrolled in a monthly giving program.

How can organizations engage repeat donors?

Engaging repeat donors has a lot to do with relationship building. Giving to your organization shouldn’t feel transactional. Instead, donors should feel bought in on your mission and a part of your journey. Ideally, individuals donating to your cause should feel like they’re members as much as they are donors. No matter how small your organization is, you can implement these strategies to encourage an ongoing relationship with your members.

Say Thank You

When an individual or corporation makes a donation, be sure to send out a thank you. Whether it’s a handwritten card, an email, or potentially a Tweet depends on your audience and the size of their donation. Regardless, your donors should feel appreciated for their efforts.

Be Genuine

Be transparent and personable in all your communications. Showcase your organization’s personality and let your mission shine through in all that you do. Donors feel more connected when they can get to know an organization.

Here are a few ways to convey your brand voice:

  • Create a monthly email newsletter containing relevant industry updates
  • Highlight volunteers and employees on social media
  • Interview trailblazers within your industry on a podcast
  • Partner with similar organizations to raise awareness about a common interest

Promote Ongoing Engagement

Discuss repeat donations and how returning donors support your organization. Don’t wait for your donors to show interest in donating again, encourage it from the get-go. Explain clearly to your repeat donors the difference they make, including:

  • Lowered fundraising & marketing costs through proactive donations (this means more money goes to supporting your initiative as well).
  • Stable budgeting enables improved program planning and resource planning.
  • Readiness for unexpected events ensures you don’t have to fundraise at the last minute.

Share Your Impact

Donors will feel inclined to give more when they can see the impact of their donation. Use your website, social media, and email newsletters to highlight impacts made by your organization and how those are tied to donor involvement. Quantifying your impact and relating it back to the total amount received by your donors can help put things into perspective for your audience.

Personalize Follow-ups

You want to build a relationship with your donors — they shouldn’t feel like your communications are automated follow-ups. When you send out emails, make phone calls, or mail donation requests, include context. Mention the instances someone donated in the past and highlight the impact those donations had. When possible, relate that donation to what you’re working toward now, showcasing how a repeat donation helps further their efforts.

Offer Other Ways to Give

While individuals may not be able to commit to giving financially on a monthly basis, perhaps they can donate their weekend to volunteering monthly. Similarly, maybe individuals have an established network they can share your organization with. Showcase the other ways people can help support your organization if giving regularly isn’t in their budget.

When you provide other options for engagement, you’ll be able to include individuals who wouldn’t normally be able to support. People who volunteer to give their time also understand the financial needs of the organization better and are more likely to give in the future when they’re able.

Make Donating Easy

Donating shouldn’t be difficult. Make it easy for interested individuals to find your organization, understand your mission, learn about the services you provide, and make a donation with just a few taps on their smartphone.

Joining provides exposure to interested donors via a nonprofit marketplace within the giving app. Unlike other fundraising platforms, your organization isn’t charged any fees and receives 100% of every donation made. Join to make it easy for donors to support your organization on a regular basis.