Last year I did a mini experiment, donating to twelve mosdos online ‘matched giving’ campaigns.
I wanted to see how these organizations would communicate with me, a new donor, after they received my support, all the way through to their next online campaign.
How you thank, recognize and appreciate your donors, influences if they give again. Especially those who come through an online campaign.
There is so much data available to help guide us to use best practices in donor retention.
In fact, not to listening to this data is costing mosdos Torah so much lost support.
Here is some snippets of important research from influencers in the fundraising world. You can use it as a guide to drive how to effectively communicate with your donors.
- Research by McConkey Johnson found that first time donors, who received a personal thank you within 48 hours of their donation, were 'four times' more likely to give again.
- Goodworks 2017 research found that a one minute ‘thank you’ phone call to new donors increased the amount of second year gifts by 30%.
- The Agitator data found a ‘thank you call’ to first time donors generated a 72% increase in gift size on their first year donations.
This data is clear. Thanking your donor as close as possible and as personally as possible, increases the amount of donors who give again. And influences the size of their next donation.
What did I find in my mini experiment?
Aside from an auto generated 'Thank You' receipt email by the online platform at the time of donation, I received just three 'Thank You' emails from twelve donations!
Three thank you emails from twelve organizations! Nine of the organizations never emailed a thank you.
Some of the organizations added me to their email lists, so I began receiving emails of their activities. Not what I wanted.
The first time I heard from most of them was at their next campaign, when they wanted my support again.
It's not that any of these organizations didn't appreciate the support. But I suspect for most of them, they did not have a system set up to effectively thank their donors after a large online campaign.
Process Is Key
Say you've completed a 24 hour online matched campaign.
You've received a ton of large, medium, small and new donors. There's a simple way to equip yourself to effectively deal with your donors.
What you can do is - Decide up front HOW you'd like to thank your large, medium and smaller donors. Each require a different amount of effort.
This we call a THANKING PROTOCOL
When putting a Thanking Protocol together, take into account two important rules that the research shows.
RULE ONE to effective thanking is - SPEED
Use the 48 hour rule. Thank your donors within 48 hours of their donation. It's key.
RULE TWO to effective thanking is - PERSONAL
Make your thank you's as personal as possible.
Here’s an example of a 'THANKING PROTOCOL' for after any large campaign.
- Donors of $1000 or more, receive a personal call/text/email asap at the time they make their donation. A follow up call from you within 24 hours. A follow up snail mail note one week later.
- Donors of $250-$999 receive a thank you email within 48 hours. And a thank you phone call within 10 days of your campaign.
- Donors of less than $250 receive a thank you email within 48 hours.
This way, you'll make the 'art of thanking' something that makes each and every one of your donors feel so appreciated.
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