Podcast Transcript: Donor Retention: 5 Reasons Donor’s Stop Giving and How to Fix It

September 16, 2021

JILLYN: Hi, I’m Jillyn, Founder and Executive Director of Technology Aloha, and I’m here today with our Content Manager, Kelli to talk about donor retention. Our podcast today will be broken into three sections —

  • Why Donors Stop Giving
  • Communicating Impact
  • Website Solutions for Donor Retention

Let’s get started.

Donor Retention: Person holding a gift box as if to give the viewer a present.

Why Donors Stop Giving

KELLI: So Jillyn, I wanted to start with why some donors stop giving to a nonprofit. What are some reasons for that?

JILLYN: Excellent question Kelli. Donors stop giving for all kinds of reasons, but today I’d like to focus on five big ones.

  • They’re not convinced that their donation will have an impact on the cause they care about
  • The charity says they need more money than the donor is able to give
  • There’s no clear path for how their donation will help a specific cause
  • The charity isn’t making its goals and progress clear
  • The charity doesn’t seem trustworthy or capable of carrying out what it promises

Do you see the common thread there? It all comes down to impact because that’s what donors really care about.

KELLI: Those are all valid reasons for a donor to hesitate in giving a repeat donation. And it’s good to point out that many of these donor retention issues can be solved through donor communication.

Communicating Impact

JILLYN: Very true Kelli. Let’s talk about how nonprofits can update their donor communication and outreach to solve some of the most common donor retention issues.

Sharing Impact

KELLI: Sure! It’s important to show donors their impact on your organization’s cause. You can accomplish this by posting stories on social media, or by sharing them in an email newsletter to your donors. Stories are powerful. When donors can see the amazing impact their donations made in a story with pictures and video, they are much more likely to give again.

JILLYN: That’s very true. But how can a nonprofit combat a donor’s concern that a nonprofit is asking for more money than they have to give?

KELLI: The best way is to share how even the smallest donations make a difference. Specific examples of what a small amount of money can do for the community are especially powerful. For instance, Jillyn your local food bank regularly posts on social media and their website about how $1 can provide 2 meals. Most people have $1 to spare, and those dollars add up. Letting donors know that they don’t have to solve the problem on their own — that it’s a community effort — can help your donors know that the little bit they can provide is enough.

Showing Impact

JILLYN: Excellent example, Kelli!

Another way a nonprofit can illustrate the impact donations, even small donations, make on a specific cause is by showing what kinds of things donations provide. Our Virtual Donation Drive solution provides a simple way for nonprofits to communicate that impact while gathering donations. For example, a food bank could allow donors to “add food” to their donation cart. A pet shelter could allow donors to select pet food, toys, and treats. That way donors can see how much impact their donation actually provides and give as much or as little as they’re able.

In general, people like to see the impact their donation makes. Especially in the online world, having the ability to demonstrate that impact instantly, is invaluable.

KELLI: Exactly. And when people see that they made a positive impact with their donation, it makes your nonprofit more trustworthy. It helps reduce any fear about how a donation will be spent because donors can see where it went.

Website Solutions for Donor Retention

JILLYN: Very true. This leads us to how your website impacts donor retention.

KELLI: There are many things a nonprofit can do on its website. One important detail is to keep the website updated with current information. Also, focus on giving it a good layout. Outdated and poorly designed websites don’t build trust in an organization, and that can scare away donors.

A good website can also show the impact a nonprofit makes, provide donors with a clear goal they want to support, and demonstrate ongoing progress toward that goal.

It’s also important to make it easy for website visitors to donate and keep in touch with your organization. A good website is crucial for a nonprofit if they really want to get their mission out there.

JILLYN: Well it looks like that’s all the time we have for today. We’ve included links in the description to several of our blog posts that cover the topic we discussed today. I’m Jillyn.

KELLI: And I’m Kelli. If you have questions about Nonprofit Outreach for Donor Retention or have other topics you want to hear on our podcast, please reach out on social media or contact us at TechnologyAloha.com.

JILLYN: Thank you for listening to Into the Inbound with Technology Aloha. We hope we’ve added a little Aloha to your day.

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Into the Inbound with Technology Aloha

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