The Value of Donor Loyalty
nonprofit management tips

The effect of increasing donor loyalty by 10 percent today would be to enhance the lifetime value of the fundraising database by up to 200 percent, according to Dr. Adrian Sargeant and Elaine Jay (Building Donor Loyalty: The Fundraiser’s Guide to Increasing Lifetime Value, Jossey-Bass, 2004). So, what is your organization doing to foster donor retention?

    In Stay Together: How to Encourage a Lifetime of Donor Loyalty, Jay B. Love, CEO and co-founder of Bloomerang in Indianapolis, Ind., offers the following steps to creating an exceptional and inspiring organizational culture for building donor loyalty.

  1. What are people thinking? Invite input from your team. Explore ways to gather ideas, from group meetings to one-on-one discussions and suggestion boxes, and keep the information flowing.
  2. Remember to see the big picture — your organization’s mission — and communicate that regularly.
  3. Does everyone on your team — staff members, volunteers and donors — know about goals? Discus them frequently, and show any progress you are making. Avoid focusing on dollar amounts. Rather, emphasize the outcome of raising those dollars.
  4. Celebrate successes
  5. Recruit and hire the best candidates, and keep them.
  6. Never underestimate the importance of training your team. If certain individuals consistently exceed goals, invite new hires and volunteers to shadow them so they can witness the organization’s culture in action firsthand. Also, maintain a consistent training schedule for your entire staff.
  7. All for one and one for all. One special trait of a culture-rich organization is how every employee and volunteer looks out for each other and for the good of the organization. No finger pointing or saying something does not fall into this department or that department.
  8. Innovate. To do that, recognize that the status quo is always viewed as something to be improved.