Thank you note shutterstock_136805609Getting a new donor is really hard. Keeping a new donor is infinitely easier. Yet nonprofits continue to struggle with retention. In fact, statistics from AFP and Target Analytics show that only 29% of first-year donors are retained. Yes, 71% of new donors DON’T give again!

We have been talking about this issue for a long time — and we have provided many solutions; however, since this problem is still so prevalent, we want to offer some new advice.

This time we are going to reinforce the advice provided by Gail Perry in her article Donor Retention: The Easiest Money You’ll Ever Raise from Blackbaud’s Philanthropy by the NumbersMs. Perry’s first two recommendations to help create donor loyalty are as follows….

1. Send them a thank-you very, very, very quickly. And it needs to be perfect. Show them you care with a prompt letter that is personalized and truly appreciative.

2. Make your thank-yous personal, emotional, and even a bit gushy. Write to them like you are just thrilled to receive their money — which you are, of course.

Years of Innovairre testing has proven the efficacy of this advice. Furthermore, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, many nonprofits are making poor investment choices by “putting too much effort into constantly replacing large numbers of donors who never make a repeat gift when they should be making investments that would provide significantly more fundraising return in the long term.”

So to make it easy for you to implement a highly effective, personalized thank you program, we offer a 24-hour Thank You Service.

If you have never tried a 24-hour thank you program, you should. It’s incredibly successful. It’s simple to deploy. And it works on autopilot. It takes new donor files on a same-day basis and coverts them into personalized thank yous, sent in 24 hours or less, using Genuinely Penned robotic handwriting technology.

Once set up, your second-gift conversion rates can nearly triple — and you never really have to worry about it again. It’s literally fundraising on autopilot.

If you don’t have a 24-hour thank you program in place, please get in touch. It could be the smartest fundraising decision you make this year.

Don McKenzie is President & Chief Growth Officer of Innovairre Communications, which supports more than 500 nonprofit organizations around the world. Contact us at; subscribe to our newsletter here; and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.