What if we told you there was a surefire way to raise more money and reach more donors on #GivingTuesday? There is! And there’s no “one cool trick” or magical formula: It’s really as simple as taking the time to reach out to last year’s #GivingTuesday donors.
The Importance of Donor Retention
We’ve talked about it before on Mightyblog, and it’s a serious problem. Across the nonprofit sector, donor attrition is high and donor retention is low. That means that nonprofits do a really great job of getting new donors, and a terrible job of keeping them.
There are multiple reasons for this. Sometimes, past donors are no longer reachable. They move, change email addresses, get a new phone number, and there’s no way for your nonprofit to connect with them about your latest campaign. In some cases, nonprofits throw all of their energy into donor acquisition, and end up losing sight of cultivating the donors they already have. And sometimes, especially in small volunteer-run operations, nonprofits just get busy.
But regardless of the reason, donor retention is vital. And it’s essential to a successful #GivingTuesday campaign — because the donors you’ve already acquired are low-hanging fruit. These are people who have shown up to support you, and are very likely to support you again. You can count on most of these donors to support your work and donate to your campaigns.
The only trick is, you have to ask.
#GivingTuesday Donor Retention Strategies
Lots of nonprofits blast all of their communications out to everyone on #GivingTuesday. And that’s absolutely fine! In most cases, it works, but here’s how you can specifically try to recapture donors who gave to your previous #GivingTuesday campaign.
Send targeted emails to previous donors
In addition to your key email appeals to donors, you should send them at least one or two targeted emails. That means, pull out last year’s donors from your general email list, and send them an appeal that specifically acknowledges their past support and asks them to support you again. Most email marketing software makes this super easy to do!
Depending on how granular you want to get with your targeting, you could even separate the donors into levels, and use that information to fine-tune your ask. For instance, if someone gave $10-$25 last year, why not suggest that they give $50 for #GivingTuesday this year? And if someone gave $50-$75 last year, try suggesting $100 to bump them up to the next level.
Show your impact
One of the keys to appealing to past donors is demonstrating to them how much of a difference their donation made. In your targeted communications to them, it can be persuasive to weave in your accomplishments from this year, to show them that their support has helped your nonprofit make progress toward your goals.
Let’s say your nonprofit is an animal rescue, and you were raising funds to build a neonatal kitten nursery last #GivingTuesday. When you make an appeal to donors, you’d want to revisit the kitten nursery — if you were able to build the nursery, share how many neonatal kittens have been saved because of your nursery! Share pictures, share stories. Celebrating successes and accomplishments since your last campaign makes donating again a no-brainer for these supporters. Use these successes to segue into your goals for this #GivingTuesday and the upcoming year.
Do personal outreach
Most nonprofits have moved many of their fundraising efforts online, but nothing in the digital age can compete with good old fashioned personal outreach. You can enlist development staff and volunteers to help make phone calls to past #GivingTuesday donors to tell them about your upcoming campaign and ask for their support. (To keep it manageable if it’s a long list, you may want to narrow this down to donors who gave over a certain amount, such as $50 or $100.)
And if you don’t have phone numbers? No problem! A personal email from someone on your staff asking for their support can also do wonders. Make a list, and generate a template email, which you can personalize with the donor’s name, history with your nonprofit, and any details you have on file about them.
Emailing Your Donors Through Mightycause
At Mightycause, our goal is to make fundraising as easy as possible, and we’ve added a quick and easy way for your nonprofit to reach out to all of your donors from last year.
Step 1: Go to Your Supporters CRM Tool
All nonprofits registered for #GivingTuesday this year have free access to one of Advanced features, the Supporters CRM tool. You can access this from your Mightycause Manager.
Step 2: Click on “Tags: GivingTuesday 2017”
We’ve pre-loaded this tag on your Supporters tool so you can easily find last year’s #GivingTuesday donors.
Once you’ve clicked on the correct tag, click on the total number to select all of the supporters in the tag. (These are all of your #GivingTuesday donors from 2017.)
Step 3: Email Your Supporters!
Once you’ve got your 2017 supporters selected, click on the email message icon and pop in this sample message (which you can customize however you’d like):
Last year, you helped us make an impact with your gift on #GivingTuesday. Please help us again to reach our goal today and help us continue our important work in our community. Donate now at: [insert page link here]. Thank you!”
Then, after you’ve got your links added and your text customized to your liking, just click Send! That’ll send an email to all of your Supporters from 2017, in just 3 easy steps.
The real trick to increasing your totals isn’t in a social media algorithm or sending emails at the right time. It’s reaching out to the right people, and making sure you do it well. And it’s not too late! #GivingTuesday is around the corner, but there’s still time to put a plan in place to do the one thing that is guaranteed to bring in donations.
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