Median donor retention floated around 40% in 2015, meaning that six in ten donors gave to a nonprofit once and did not donate again.
There is no shortage of ideas about how to keep donors coming back. But all of the advice found in blog articles and forums can be overwhelming. Just do a quick search for “ways to improve donor retention” and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
But let’s look at one often overlooked solution, and some strategies for leveraging it.
Here are the top 3 ways to use matching gifts to increase donor retention.
1. Say thank you and remind donors of matching gifts
Donors want to feel appreciated once they’ve made a donation, big or small. The best way to encourage donors to give a second time is to thank them for their first contribution. Not only can you make donors feel like they’ve made a difference, you can encourage them to look into matching gift programs that their employers may offer.
Including information about matching gifts within a sincere and timely thank you message can be a great way to show donors you are appreciative of their donation while also increasing donor retention.
2. Inform donors when their company’s matching gift is received
If donors submit matching gift requests, the funds might not be sent to the nonprofit for weeks or even months. Donors might forget that they even submitted a request for a matching gift!
Letting them know that their company’s matching donation came in is a great way to keep an open line of communication with donors. Staying in contact with donors after their initial donation can be an effective way to increase your donor retention.
3. Keep donors in the loop about matching gifts
Even if some of your donors didn’t or couldn’t submit matching gift requests, it’s still a good idea to let them know about general giving statistics every now and then. It’s an even better idea to inform donors about matching gift figures.
Keeping donors in the know about matching gift statistics will help remind them that their donations can go twice as far with very little effort on their part. Not only will this help donors know more about matching gifts, but it will encourage previous donors to give again.
You can publish donation statistics and matching gift information on your website or blog, or update donors through your newsletter and on social media sites.
Increasing donor retention is a comprehensive and multifaceted undertaking. While there are many ways to keep your donors hanging around long after their first donation, using matching gifts can be an excellent way to remind donors that they can make an even bigger impact by submitting matching gift requests.
Adam Weinger is President of Double the Donation–which helps nonprofits raise awareness of matching gifts, make it easy, and increase revenue–and a guest contributor to Innovairre Communications, which supports more than 500 nonprofit organizations around the world. Contact us at Answers@Innovairre.com; subscribe to our newsletter here; and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.