How charity: water Increases Donor Retention with Continuous Communication
Nearly 3 out of every 4 newly acquired donors leave within the first year. But acquiring a new donor costs 6 to 7 times more than it costs to retain an existing donor. (Source) So how can you keep your donors around? charity: water knows how – keep your donors in the loop.
With over 9,458 water projects funded in 20 countries, charity: water has brought clean water to more than 3,500,000 people. And since their progress won’t be slowing anytime soon, (in fact their goal is 3 million people in 2015 alone) there’s definitely something we can all learn from them in the area of donor retention.
charity: water minimizes donor worry by keeping them in the loop from donation to project completion.
Take a look at how they do it:
- Give donors choice
charity: water offers 3 main ways to donate. Donors can (1) give any amount of money directly on the charity: water site, (2) buy charity: water gear at their online store, where 100% of the proceeds go to funding water projects, or (3) build their own campaign to raise money from friends and family (these campaigns are organized by individuals separate from the charity). Right away, these options allow donor choice. And this choice allows them to help in a way that’s comfortable for them.
- Show how donors’ funds will be spent
It’s still important to be transparent and share how donors’ funds will go to the cause. Operational costs are important and necessary, but since it’s the cause that drives the donations, it’s just as important to show how donor dollars will be used. charity: water is VERY explicit about how a donors’ money will be used, showing donors how their money will contribute to a completed water project in 6 steps. Want to see for yourself? Visit their “Dollars to Projects” page.
- Bring the donor to the cause
Donors who understand where their money is being spent will certainly be more likely to donate again. And donors who can see the outcome of the project they gave to will be even more likely to return. charity: water ensures every partner that works on a water project collects GPS data and photos of each community to see the impact they’ve made. You don’t need to collect GPS data, but do send photos or keep them update via email or social media.
- Proof of project completion
When all is said and done, charity: water sends a completion report to the donors who participated in a water project. The campaign organizer can see the end result and each donor can see their individual contribution.
- Supplement with visual reminders
To keep those donors interest piqued, charity: water offers small reminders through their social feeds of the impact they’re having.
These compelling images are a great way to reassure donors that they’ve made a difference.
Don’t be afraid to take a page out of charity: water’s book. Show your donors where their money will go and what they’ve helped to accomplish.