From our friends and partners at Paperlesstrans.com

It can be discouraging to realize that your donors want to continue to give to your cause, but have found it difficult to do so-they give once and have every intention of giving again, but it slips their mind which creates an unintentional lost opportunity.

Some studies show that around 60% of donations are never made; the donor abandons the giving process BEFORE the donation is submitted.

Before we gain a better understanding of how to retain “actual” donors, we must better understand how to tune into the mindset of “potential” donors that never even submitted their first donation.

Every donor’s reason to leave the Giving Process is different.

To understand donors, you have to imagine yourself in their shoes. Here are 4 different donor personas that can give us some insight.

Wanda

She experienced donor friction because the website required for her to create a login before giving the first time.

How do we tune into Wanda’s donor mindset?

According to NextAfter, “Many organizations require donors to create an account and login before they are able to complete their donation. Trying multiple passwords, running a “forgot password” reset, or searching through a list of passwords on their computer creates frustration and ultimately leads the donor away from the donation page. Remove the need to login, and you will eliminate registration friction.” According to NextAfter, “Many organizations require donors to create an account and login before they are able to complete their donation. Trying multiple passwords, running a “forgot password” reset, or searching through a list of passwords on their computer creates frustration and ultimately leads the donor away from the donation page. Remove the need to login, and you will eliminate registration friction.”

Ricky

He didn’t see a clear mission displayed for
where his donation would go so he became disinterested.

How do we tune into Ricky’s donor mindset?

The 2013 Burk Donor Survey reported that “57% of donors said they set not-for-profit communications aside that appear to be uninteresting on first glance.”

Amanda

It took 5 clicks to get to the donation page
and that resulted in donor friction and donor abandonment.

How do we tune into Amanda’s donor mindset?

According to NextAfter’s National Fundraising Scorecard, their study showed that the more a donor has to click the more friction the donor feels during the giving process.  This creates a higher probability that the donor abandons the giving process.

Clint

The donation page didn’t render on his mobile device
so he had to scroll/pinch, but eventually gave up.

How do we tune into Clint’s donor mindset?

According to CDW (in 2016), 18% of all donations were given from mobile device users. Don’t lose up to 18% of donations!

Now that we’ve got some insight into “potential” donors and their mindset, we can now pivot to understanding how these same aspects of the Giving Experience impacts donor retention for donors who have (at least 1 time) completed the Giving process.

In conclusion, “potential” donors WILL LEAVE IF we aren’t optimizing the front-end Giving experience while keeping these 4 above aspects of the experience in mind.

Let’s focus on three Donor Groups and briefly unpack each one.

Returning Donors

Returning Donors are donors that have given once (or more) before, BUT now return to your website to give and just want to ensure that their gift is going to make a difference.

Donors want to understand that their gift matters, no matter the size of the gift. That keeps them coming back.

How do you invite donors to stand with you in building the vision (that you’re accepting donations for)?

Some practical tips to inviting returning donors to stand with you:

  • Offer a Giving Catalog (similar to this Organization) that includes items that can be donated to your mission
  • Give back to each donor a part in your mission—tell them in your Custom Email Receipts to continue to pray or stand with you in some specific way that keeps them involved
  • Email and Text Blast regular updates with videos and a description of how their gift is impacting your mission

Recurring Donors

Recurring donors give regularly through one initial decision to contribute to your mission, BUT you don’t want to take them for granted after they’ve started their recurring giving cycle.

Additionally, you don’t want to lose them.  Donor Never Lapse (a Paperless Transactions product designed specifically for this) helps you to keep those recurring donor records from being interrupted; read more about Donor Never Lapse here.

Ongoing Donors

Ongoing donors have to be managed and you must pay close attention to them while regularly making sure to retain their most current address, email address, phone number, and donor attributes.

Donor Management Systems can help you with this and keep each donor’s record unique while it gets update every time there is a donor record change.

Paperless Transactions has some great, integrated Donor Management system partners that are eager to help you declutter your donor records and to advise you on how to best maintain ongoing donor records.

In conclusion, when it comes to the topic of “Donor Retention,” each nonprofit or church needs a real strategy that works.  If you’d like to discuss how Paperless can advise you on an effective strategy, please go to this webpage and one of our team members will be there to advise you.