How Often Should You Solicit Your Donors?

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Your goals are to convert, renew and reactivate as many donors as possible each year and that’s impossible without a bare minimum of one appeal annually.

If you are responsible for an annual fundraising campaign at your charitable organization, you know you should ask donors to give at least once each year, right?

Your goals are to convert, renew and reactivate as many donors as possible each year and that’s impossible without a bare minimum of one appeal annually.

But many of your donors should be solicited much more frequently if you expect to achieve a donor retention rate of 60% or more.

Once is not enough

We use predictive modeling to determine the best contact strategy for each donor.  Based on each donor’s giving history, it’s possible to determine the optimum strategy for each donor.

For current donors, who have given their most recent gift in 0-24 months, the number of contacts can range from four to 20 times per year. 

In our experience, giving active donors fewer than six opportunities to renew their support per year results in lower annual renewal rates.  Your renewal goal for active donors should be 60% or more renewal from active donors.

You should not appeal to your entire donor database with the same level of frequency.  But, if you base your contact strategy on the donor’s giving history and share a clear, compelling reason to give, you will enjoy higher levels of 2nd gift conversion, active donor renewal and lapsed donor reactivation.

Donor complaints should not drive your strategy

You may receive some comments when you increase appeal frequency.  But you should not adjust your overall appeal strategy based on a few objections or anecdotes.  Yes, at first, some donors may ask for fewer appeals.  And you should honor these requests and track these individual preferences in your donor database.  Only a small percentage of donors will share their contact preferences, so don’t let the minority determine how you treat your overall strategy.

Appeal to donors based on their behavior

There is nothing more predictive of how a donor will behave in the future than their previous behavior.  That’s why the science of predictive modeling is the best way to determine how often you should solicit your donors.

If you want to learn more about developing a donor contact strategy based on predictive modeling, please contact us.  We can analyze your donor file and recommend an optimal strategy to help you achieve your goals.

John Payne