by guest blogger Sean Triner, co-founder of Pareto Fundraising.
If your organization raises funds related to disasters such as the horrific Nepal earthquake, you may also find that it is a strong source of new donors. The media coverage drives people to respond charitably, and if you are there, you can harness the outpouring of compassion.
What do you do with these new donors? As Jeff noted, you can expect lower second-gift and retention rates from these donors.
But there are several things you can do to improve the retention of these donors -- and thus get better long-term value from this outpouring of support:
- Thank quickly. Send an email, explaining that their money is having an impact straight away.
- Debit fast. It doesn't make sense to have an emergency appeal then not debit as quick as possible.
- Follow up all donations (except maybe lo-dollar gifts) a second ask within hours -- whilst the media frenzy is still happening.
- Follow up AGAIN as media response dies down, or within ten days -- whichever is sooner, and ask for a regular (sustainer) gift.
If you follow this you will get more second gifts, more regular givers and have more funds and people to go to when disaster strikes again.