We all know that donor retention is on the skids, and costing nonprofits  millions in donations.  Among nonprofits in AFPs 2013 Fundraising Effectiveness Report, retention rates have fallen over the past 7 years from about 50% down to just 39%.  It's estimated that revenue losses from downgraded and lost donors was $735 million in 2012. 

According to research by industry expert Adrian Sargent, 53% of donors stop contribuiting for reasons related to poor communications on the part of the nonprofit.  The reasons cited are summarized in the below infographic from Bloomerang, where Sargent is a data guru. 

Nonprofit Donor Loyalty Primer

As you are gearing up for a stellar year-end appeal for donations, nothing could be more important than putting a thoughtful and carefully crafted donor stewardship plan in place.  Stewardship is the glue that keeps donors connected to your organization. A good plan should include:

  1. your goals 
  2. parameters for different levels of stewardship
  3. materials you will use including thank you copy and new donor welcome packets
  4. a communications plan and time line for non-solicitation communications
  5. a plan to track and monitor progress against your identified goals

Authentic and appropriate appreciation, expressed regularly, can make the difference in your donor retention rate in 2015.  To help you get started crafting your stewardship plan, download our free guide today.  And for even more expert advice on stewardship and all areas of annual giving, download our free workbook, The Data Driven Annual Fund.

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