Multi-Channel Has Best Retention Rate

February 22, 2017       THE NONPROFIT TIMES      

Following instructions down to the letter is essential when baking. If you turn the oven off too soon or try to frost something that’s still hot, you end up with a mess instead of a cake. Using all the information you have available from data analytics is the recipe for donor retention success.

    At the Bridge to Integrated Marketing Conference in National Harbor, Md., Laura Zylstra, League of Women Voters of the U.S., Myles King, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Allison Porter, Avalon Consulting Group presented “How Cutting-Edge Data Analytics Can Revolutionize Your Membership Program.” In this session, the group discussed case studies from League of Women Voters and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and revealed the following:

  • Comparing key metrics and analysis will give a deeper view into the health, future performance, and potential of your donor file. Metrics should be compared over time and to other organizations when evaluating their significance.
  • Retention needs to be a key focus for your organization. Some retention strategies to consider are a new constituent relationship management (CRM) system, expanding acknowledgements, and evaluating how your acquisition strategy affects your retention.
  • There is opportunity for multi-channel growth. In the case of the League of Women Voters, direct mail is their dominant channel, but their donors who give in multiple channels have the highest rates of retention.
  • Leveraging lower dollar programs creates a pipeline for mid-level and major gifts. For League of Women Voters, 50 percent of $1,000+ multiple gift donors joined the file with a gift under $100.
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