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Are You Building Relationships Or Collecting Checks?

On December 31, 2017, I became a statistic.

I joined the 60 percent of donors who become former donors to the charities they had been supporting.


Can We Halt the Steady Decline in Donor Retention?

Donor retention continues to fall. According to AFP’s 2017 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report, overall donor retention was just 45 percent last year. It’s down from the previous year. It will likely drop further this year, because that’s been the overall trend for the past decade. 

Naturally, retention varies among charities and even among donor segments, but the message is clear: Too many donors are losing interest. That’s a problem, because low retention requires more spending on donor acquisition,  which is already more expensive than retention. Here are four possible reasons enough donors aren’t staying engaged. 


Five Easy Ways to Build Rapport with Your Donors

Donors love to give but hate to be persuaded. That’s both the problem and the opportunity we face every time we create a fundraising appeal, whether direct mail or digital.


Want to Keep Your Donors? Then Answer These Unspoken Questions

The days of the seemingly infinite pool of new donors available to quickly and inexpensively replace those who have stopped their support are long gone. Today, as more and more donors abandon ship, the cost of replacing them has grown so great as to be no longer affordable for most nonprofits. 


How Quickly Should You Thank a New Donor?

Research has shown that first-time donors who receive a personal thank-you within 48 hours are four times more likely to give again. Yes, thanking in 48 hours equals a 400 percent improvement in renewal rates.

First-time donors are ardent, as I discuss in my book, What Your Donors Want ... and Why. But that ardor cools fast if you don't sustain it. It's like a campfire ignited by match from tinder. It blows oxygen across an ardent new donor, keeping that small flame alive, excited by your mission, your vision, and your potential in their lives.


The Closely Held Secret to Communicating with Your Donors

Communicating with donors consists of just three basic activities, as I explain in my new book What Your Donors Want ... and Why!