When it comes to funding nonprofits or religious organizations, we often put a lot of thought and resources into attracting new donors. The best fundraising scenarios, however, should consider every type of supporter—from people who have just learned about your cause to those faithful, long-term donors. Learning how to encourage consistent donations is just as important as attracting new donors.
If you have been struggling with donors who don’t stay very consistent, here is our guide on how you can change that.
What Do I Do with a Donor That Has Become Inconsistent?
A quick examination of your donors and their giving habits can give you valuable information. Are you attracting new donors? Do your donors mainly give to urgent requests rather than give on a regular basis? Do you see a pattern of donors becoming inconsistent?
If you answered yes to the latter, you may need to come up with a new strategy, but, first, consider these three questions:
Has anything changed?
Have you recently changed anything within the organization that would impact your donors? For example, has the way you contact them, the kind of information you give them, or the reminders you send out changed?
How have these changes impacted your donors?
If you have made any of these changes, really think about how they may have impacted your donors. Some people might have become inconsistent accidentally because they haven’t received reminders or emails have replaced paper notifications.
Perhaps they have purposefully stopped giving consistently. Think about what might have caused that. Do they feel like you have stopped communicating as openly or as regularly?
Have you kept your promises?
Playing on that last statement, think about the changes you haven’t made. For example, if you communicate well with your donors, has there been anything they have been asking for that you haven’t taken on board? Obviously, there is only so much you can accommodate and still have an organization that functions as it should. However, if you have made promises you haven’t fulfilled, donors are likely to get frustrated and consider ending their support.
How Do I Encourage Consistent Donations?
Once you have thought about these facets and tried to remedy any thing that you can, think about how you can encourage more consistency. Use these tips and ideas to better your process:
Communicate with your Donors
When encouraging donations, think about the importance of communication. You want to make the donors feel like they aren’t just a number. You need them to feel like they matter to your organization—because they do. Communicate effectively and ask them for their feedback. Listen to them. Then, be honest with them about the changes you can and can’t make. Don’t promise the moon only to find you can’t deliver. They will appreciate your honesty if you are open with them.
Implement New Strategies
You may find excellent strategies and ideas from your donor’s feedback that you can implement. Outline these, come up with implementation strategies, and then try them out. Be clear with your donors regarding your plans and what you are doing. If it is only a trial, make sure they understand that.
Track the Success of Your Changes
It is important for you to satisfy your donors, but not at the cost of the purpose or functionality of your organization. Before putting their suggestions in place, come up with measurable metrics so that you can keep track of the success of these new changes. That way, you can know and report whether they have been effective or not. It always makes people feel great to know their suggestions have helped in some way.
If you have tested an idea or piloted a new program, let your donors know. How did it work? Will this be a permanent change? Give the donors the chance to really dig into the cause with you, and they are bound to feel more loyal to your brand, church, or organization. And with greater loyalty comes more consistent giving.
Set Up Automatic Payments
Here is an essential way to help donors be consistent: make it convenient. Offer supporters a way to give without having to remember each week or month. If you haven’t set up an automatic payment system, you should do it immediately. In today’s fast-paced climate, making payments as convenient as possible for people is essential. It is easy to set automatic payments up through a bank, app, or website such as Givelify. That way, when a donor signs up, they can give a one-time donation or have the option to give annually, monthly, or even weekly. Then they don’t have to think about it again unless they want to stop giving.
Engage Donors Consistently
Use social media as a way to engage donors daily. Do a poll to find out what forms of social media, like Facebook or Twitter, your donors use the most and engage them with daily content, images, videos, or stories. Always include a donation link in your social media posts or updates.
Another great way to engage donors is to host events to get to know them or help them get to know others. You can expand on these events by making some for new donors or host Q&A sessions so that people can really engage with you at the heart of your mission and purpose. These can be in person or via virtual meetings, like Zoom.
Use a Mobile App
There is an app for everything, so there should be an app for your church or nonprofit. Apps are the way of the world at this point. They encourage your donors to interact with you through notifications and set up payments. It gives them easy access to your organization.
Cultivating Your Donor Family
Learning how to encourage donations often involves stepping back and examining your business model, any recent changes or lack thereof, and your relationship with your donors. Then, when you are ready, go the way of an easy-to-use app, especially one that allows donors to set up recurring donations. Signing up with Givelify means you can have a website ready to receive donations in five minutes or less. So what are you waiting for?
About the Author
Luis Orozco is a contributing writer. His passions and expertise are nonprofit fundraising and development. He uses Givelify to support his local church and the social justice causes.