Simple things, like saying thank you and staying in touch, mean a lot.
The Nonprofit Research Collaborative reported Tuesday that organizations were likely to see an increase in charitable dollars received in the first half of 2012 when the organization used any one of three “best practice” donor-retention communications: donor recognition, reporting results and multiple channels of disseminating information.
The finding was part of NRC’s semi-annual survey of fundraising by nonprofit organizations. Conducted online in August and September, it drew 781 responses.
Among all surveyed charities, 46% saw growth in funds raised in January through June 2012 compared with the first half of 2011. In contrast, 60% of those that actively engaged donors saw gains.
NRC said its study was one of the first to explore the link between retention rates and the direction of change in charitable receipts and with actual retention initiatives.
Among survey participants with less than $3 million in total revenue, those with retention rates in 2011 of 60% or better were likely to see increases in their charitable receipts in the first six months of 2012, compared with 2011.
For organizations with less than $10 million in expenditures, retention rates were likely to be higher when a nonprofit organization used multiple efforts (four or more) to retain existing donors.
For organizations with $10 million or more in expenditures, efforts to regain lapsed donors were associated with higher retention rates.