For any nonprofit organization, donor retention is the single most important indicator of performance. It’s a direct reflection of what donors feel about you. At Episcopal Relief & Development we ask ourselves, “Are we doing everything possible to ensure that our donors hold us in high regard? And will their good opinion ultimately translate into regular, generous contributions?” Our regular weekly, monthly or yearly donors believe in our mission, want to be a part of it, and are glad to tell others about it. But even with committed donors on board, it’s a never-ending job, and we must continue to steward the relationship so that these donors remain loyal.
As the President of Merkle Response Management Group, I lead the many facets of our business – from client satisfaction, product enhancements and new services, to sales presentations, business strategy, employee engagement and process improvement. No two days are ever alike. In my free time, I like to explore my creative side. I am a frustrated artist at heart who enjoys Plein Air landscape painting, and crafting wood furniture. I also enjoy tinkering on my restored VW ’66 bug.
One of the most important activities for a nonprofit is the handling of incoming communications from donors. Because nonprofits depend on donors to fund the programs and operations that serve the organization’s mission, using these interactions to build and maintain a strong donor base is fundamentally important. Below, I’ve outlined some best practices for using your contact center to enhance donor lifetime value.
When I think about the impact donors have on our mission, one of my favorite quotes comes to mind:
Dan Zadra once said, ”Let no one tell you that a problem is too big, or that you can’t make a difference.” And, he’s right — even the smallest effort can make a difference, and it’s a wonderful starting point from which to begin building a strong bond with your donors.
Here in Hagerstown, Maryland, like in many small towns, we are close to our friends, neighbors and co-workers. We’re familiar with each other, so communicating is easy and straightforward.
Can you say the same about your donor contact management? Unlike our small community, your donor base is huge and diverse. And even though you want to know your donors personally, the sheer numbers make it really hard. It’s important though, to get to know your donors as well as possible and manage your contact with them carefully at every opportunity.