Donor & Member Retention Strategy

Why is it important to build loyalty with donors?

Organizations often spend a lot of resources and time recruiting new members and donors, but without a good retention strategy, there is a risk of losing these hard-to-get donors.

A good retention strategy reduces the organization’s costs and provides a stable donor base that provides stability and sustainability to the organization.

What is a Retention strategy?

The Retention Strategy is the development of a stable, lasting and personalized relationship to achieve the maximum financial, social and emotional involvement of the donor for as long as possible

The loyalty strategy begins immediately after the first donation of a contact. Once the data of the new donor has been registered, it is advisable to schedule the sending of a welcome email and/or a welcome pack to establish communication and involvement ties with the donor. The email sent must be personalized, say thank you and show the impact of the organization. It is important that it is responsive to access from the mobile, tablet or computer and that it includes links to the organization’s website that generate traffic to it.

CiviCRM allows you to create these types of templates, either using the traditional templates or through the Mosaico extension that uses blocks of different formats, allowing the creation, in an intuitive way, of appealing templates.

On the other hand, CiviCRM provides tools to schedule automatic emails that can be used to launch a welcome email to the new donor. For this purpose, the default functionality of “scheduled reminders” or the extension of “Civirules” is used.

In addition, the new contact can be automatically included in a communications group, such as the “Monthly Newsletter” and thus we ensure that the new donor is informed of the organization’s activity. Do not forget to include the option to “unsubscribe” in the mail, to comply with the GDPR, this will cause CiviCRM to remove the contact from the communications group of “Monthly Newsletter” and record the history in your contact form.

Where do we continue?

The second step is segmentation using the available information: (age, gender, interests, address, etc.) Specific communication groups can be created based on the interests or actions of the contacts (number of donations, recurrence, participation in events, etc) to guide the specific communications of each one. The closer the information they receive, the more interest they will show and the more integrated they will feel in the organization.
Through CiviCRM you can create static or dynamic groups that allow you to have the database always updated, these groups allow you to segment the contacts according to certain criteria.
Retention is a journey, the journey of the donor, a donor that we learn from every day and that changes over time, which is why its monitoring is so necessary. Is it a contact that opens our emails and clicks on the links we send? Is it a donor who makes occasional or recurring donations? Is it a donor that reacts to the campaigns carried out by your organization or is it sensitive to specific situations such as Christmas, global situations of need, etc.?
Thanks to the CiviCRM “Synopsis” extension, key milestones in the donor’s life can be monitored. This will help the organization to orient its communication in a more personalized way.

The second step is segmentation using the available information: (age, gender, interests, address, etc.) Specific communication groups can be created based on the interests or actions of the contacts (number of donations, recurrence, participation in events, etc) to guide the specific communications of each one. The closer the information they receive, the more interest they will show and the more integrated they will feel in the organization.
Through CiviCRM you can create static or dynamic groups that allow you to have the database always updated, these groups allow you to segment the contacts according to certain criteria.
Retention is a journey, the journey of the donor, a donor that we learn from every day and that changes over time, which is why its monitoring is so necessary. Is it a contact that opens our emails and clicks on the links we send? Is it a donor who makes occasional or recurring donations? Is it a donor that reacts to the campaigns carried out by your organization or is it sensitive to specific situations such as Christmas, global situations of need, etc.?
Thanks to the CiviCRM “Synopsis” extension, key milestones in the donor’s life can be monitored. This will help the organization to orient its communication in a more personalized way.

CiviCRM reports also help us track the organisation results. A donor categorization report will allow the organization to see the evolution of the structure of its donors, by classifying into the following typical fundraising categories: new donor, renewed donor, silent donor, lost or inactive donor, recaotured donor:

Through this type of report, the organization will be able to observe the number of donors who have withdrawn or are not making donations in recent years, the number of donors who continue to renew their donations and donors who have been recaptured after spending some time without donating, this will allow the organization to adjust its retention and communication policies to increase donor retention.

How to track your members?

Updating the amount and how often the partner is donating gives us a lot of information. Following up on them allows us to analyze whether the organization’s retention strategy is on the right track or whether adjustments are necessary to maintain our members.

How many members have decided to reduce their contributions and by what amount this year? Is it due to a delicate economic situation or could it be due to the lack of attention to our members? How many members have decided to increase their contributions and by how much? Is it due to any specific marketing action, has the campaign we launched worked?

This analysis allows the organization to identify its strengths and weaknesses and thus adapt its retention strategy.

And it is to cover this need that the Ixiam extension “Upgrade Membership upgrade/downgrade” arises. This extension identifies the changes in the Membership “amount” field and creates an activity in the contact that includes what the origin amount was and what the final amount is, as well as identifying if this change is an “upgrade” or a ” downgrade ”. This way, you can review the Activities tab of the contact if the donor has made any quota updates during his/her life as a member.

The extension also includes a report that allows you to analyze quota updates by filtering by periods and making projections according to the frequency of the contribution.

In short, we must take care of our donors, maintaining close communication, adapting to each type of donor, reporting the impact of the organization, and thanking them for their contribution.

Carolina Bardisa
Consultora Ixiam Global Solutions

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