When we set fund-raising goals, we usually cast them in terms of dollars. However, the major fund-raising goal of any organization should be to build a base of loyal, supportive donors who give money year after year, campaign after campaign. The longer a donor gives to an organization the more likely those gifts are to grow in size and frequency.
When an organization loses a repeat donor, it loses in two ways. First, a lost donor is lost not only for this year, but for every year to follow. Secondly, the hoped for gifts from every lost donor will have to be replaced with money from new donors, and replacing a lost donor is usually not a one-for-one exchange. That's because, in general, the longer a donor gives to an organization, the more frequent and larger those gifts become.
Losing a donor is so painful to me that my objective has always been to never let it to happen. I wish I could say I have met that objective. Still though, we must strive to hold onto every donor by consciously and actively working to build donor loyalty.
I've learned that there are no shortcuts to donor loyalty, but that building it isn't a scholarly exercise either. It's mostly common sense and the willingness to keep at it. The three basic truths of donor loyalty are:
Donor loyalty is achieved by responding to our donors with:
-- Active cultivation
-- Careful consideration
-- Respectful appreciation
[Building Donor Loyalty is an excerpt from a longer article. To read the full length article go to Tony's site.]