When you think about the relationships you’ve had with others, friends or “significants,” there’s always that initial honeymoon period where you’re learning about each other and figuring out boundaries. After that, you decide whether the relationship will be long lasting or not.
Some of these relationships thrive for many years; many never make it past the first couple of months or even weeks. This is true for your donors too, isn’t it?
There is a key period of time where the relationship either moves forward as it strengthens or it begins to fade away. What are you doing to build a strong foundation for a long-lasting relationship with your supporters?
Fact: If you can keep a donor for three years, the chances increase greatly that she will continue to give year after year.
Here are 2 tips to help drive your efforts to achieve this kind of loyalty:
1. Know your donor data- Is there anything in the data that you can learn about your donors in the first 3 years of your relationship with them?
What circumstances led to the first gift?
What is your donor’s key area of interest?
What communication vehicle does your donor respond to best?
Use data to find out as much as you can about your donors. That way you’ll be able to give them the best stewardship experience possible.
2. Decide how you will determine success- Look at total and individual retention numbers. What interactions will you have with your donors in year one, year two, and year three? Try to understand your donors’ feelings and motivations during these first 3 years. This will help you give them a meaningful experience moving forward.
Making the donor journey a rewarding one leads to more support. How many donors are you leading to gifts in years 4, 5, and 6?