Monday, April 15, 2013

#1 Reason Donors Leave & Stay

There are a lot of different ways to start the process of attacking donor retention.
One way is to gain an
understanding of why donors leave your organization. Let's assume that for a large percentage it is the lack of communication, well that's easy we’ll just double our communications. But perhaps it's not about quantity,  possibly it is what you communicate, how you communicated and most importantly how the recipient emotionally reacts to that particular touch.

Building relationships of value requires a keen sense of a whole bunch of the complexities. It's easy to look at a chart and think donors leave because 18% of the time they don't receive a thank you. You can look at a statistic like that and assume we're in great shape we send thank you notes to everyone, But how do your donors receive your thank you? What reflection do your donors have on your thank you when you circle back and ask for the next gift? Do your thank you's evolve with the relationship?
Ultimately understanding some statistical elements as to why donors leave is a reasonable thing to be aware of, unfortunately it will not provide strong evidence of any one thing. However,  it is a piece of the mosaic dashboard you need to build in order to ultimately create your organization's knowledge compass.

To have significant impact on donor retention is going to require that every nonprofit examine the measures and metrics used to inform strategy. There is not a single tactic you can add that would significantly impact donor retention if you don't reimagine the institutional dashboard.
We are all familiar with the old saying regarding the definition of insanity. Doing the same things and expecting different results. However it is also equally insane to continue to do the same things and expect the same results.

 The number one reason donors both leave and stay is tied directly to the culture created by the organization.

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