Retention Fundraising: The New Art and Science of Keeping Your Donors for Life by Roger Craver
Read this book. Really, just read it.
There are a lot of books about fundraising out there. A lot of very good books. You should read all of them.
But Roger Craver's new book is different. Rather than a general how-to-do-fundraising book, it zeroes in on donor retention -- the part of your fundraising that's most likely broken. (And even if it's not broken, it's the part with the most impact on your bottom-line revenue.)
It's more "mathy" than most fundraising books. Not over-your-head math with Greek letters: Just solid common-sense math, the numbers we all should be paying attention to.
The reason this book matters to you is retention matters. A great fundraising program that has weak donor retention is actually a terrible fundraising program. Donor acquisition is getting more difficult, which makes keeping your donors more important than ever. "Churn and burn" fundraising (where you grab as many low-value donors as possible, and not worry what happens next) used to be marginally workable. Now it's the quick route to bankruptcy.
Keeping donors should be your obsession. Retention Fundraising should be the handbooks for your obsession.
Here's just a taste of the solid, on-target information that's waiting for you in this book:
Easy Retention Wins
- Say thank you. Don't take forever to thank. And don't thank in some computerish, irrelevant way. Do it soon, and do it well!
- Improve your donor services. Never send a donor through a voice-mail labyrinth. Don't mess up their data. If they have a question or request, be cheerful, quick, and flawless.
- Be boring. That is, consistent. Don't change your message every time you get bored with it. Your donors are not bored!
- Give donors lots of opportunities to talk back.
- Pick up the phone. The retention boost you can get from calling donors to thank them is incredible.
- Monthly giving. Give donors a reason to be sustainers. It's the biggest win-win in our industry.
There's more like this throughout Retention Fundraising. There's also a companion website with useful tools to help you understand your retention picture and improve it.