Building Donor Loyalty for Stronger Nonprofit Fundraising Results
Nonprofit fundraising faces multiple challenges due to economic uncertainties, crowded digital media marketing spaces and donors that are selective on which causes they support. It has become critical for organizations to find ways to engage and retain supporters for the long-term to ensure their overall viability. I have previously written about how nonprofits can cultivate a donor base in posts like Tips to Improve Nonprofit Fundraising Results in an Uncertain Economic Climate and Tips for Maintaining Online Reputations for Nonprofits. Long-term success can really be achieved by building on donor retention and overall loyalty. Focusing on cultivating stronger relationships with constituents by addressing their needs and enhancing their overall experience will ensure that you not only retain them as donors but also create ambassadors that will share your cause and expand your reach.
- First Impression, A Lasting Impression – A recent survey on brand loyalty by Clickfox revealed that for 48% of respondents the best time to gain brand loyalty is when the consumer is first engaging with the brand. Recently I decided to support a couple of causes through their monthly giving programs and my first impression for each donor experience was completely different. Granted each cause differs in size and operational budgets but regardless of financial challenges it’s critical for an organization to maintain its website as it is the face of the cause and (in many cases) where the first impression is made. It’s surprising to see sites that have event listings from years ago or no direct connections to social media pages as this gives visitors the impression that the organization is not active or worse, defunct. A negative impression for any reason, can turn a potential donor away for good. While registering with one organization I was happy to see an option on how I preferred to receive communications including email or regular mail. Despite my green preference for email, I opted for both email and traditional mail as I was curious to see what I would receive and when. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a welcome email almost immediately and a package through regular mail within a week of registering. Both of these communications left a very positive impression on me. However, for the other organization I only received an acknowledgement through a third-party donation processing company and have yet to receive any branded communications directly from the nonprofit. Two very different experiences.
- Quality Donor Services – According to the same research the top two main reasons that made respondents loyal to a brand were 1) Quality – 88%; and 2) Customer Service – 72%. For nonprofits to achieve quality donor services it is important that they are responsive to donor inquiries in a timely fashion including donation receipting, adjusting communication preferences as well as with financial and organizational reporting and updates. These efforts all contribute to making your supporters feel valued and in turn build trust. Depending on the size of the nonprofit, it’s important to either establish a donor services department or assign someone to be directly responsible for donor interactions via all channels including telephone, email, regular mail, fax, social media, etc. The survey saw 34% of respondents felt the best way for a brand to build loyalty is through 24/7 exceptional customer service and while this is not possible it’s not impossible either. Your website and social media channels allow supporters to reach out to your organization 24/7. Include FAQ’s on your site for them to consult to find their answer independently. Failing that, make message capture easy with a Contact Form and provide a response time and ask contact preference. This is another opportunity to demonstrate the responsiveness of your organization.
- Why Loyalty Is Important – An overwhelming 78% of survey respondents said that they show loyalty to a brand by spreading the word and telling others about their experience, while 69% said they would buy more and 54% would not consider competing products or companies. Nonprofits that build supporter loyalty will not only increase the longevity of the donor relationship but also create an ambassador that will promote the cause to their network of family, friends and colleagues thereby strengthening fundraising potential.
For nonprofit, nonprofit fundraising, CSR business and other news, connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Linedin, Google+ and Pinterest or subscribe to our RSS feed. Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.