Here are the Top 3 take-aways from Ring, Ring, what’s that retention tool doing in my living room? session

At the recent Bridge Conference, held in Washington DC National Harbor, I presented a session with Nick Stavarz, Synergy and Anna Averling of the American Bible Society on the use of the phone in improving donor retention.

Here are the top 3 take-aways from this session:

1. Telemarketing is one of the most successful and versatile tools in improving retention. You can call new donors to say thank you; you can use donors who are about to lapse to say thank you and get another gift; you can reactivate lapsed donors. Also, you can use new and existing donors to convert them to monthly donors. You can ask monthly donors for an upgrade, you can reactivate lapsed monthly donors. All these approaches work well.

2. Thanking donors after a gift can be done with a live call or a voice broadcast. If your organization has too large a volume of gifts to be able to thank all of them with a live call, a voice broadcast is a great way to say thank you. In the case study presented, the impact of the second gift rate was 29% for the voice broadcasts, 82% for the live call. As we all know, the key with donors is to get that important second gift to impact retention in the most positive way.

3. Going back to lapsed monthly donors even if you think you’ve exhausted all options in-house right after the monthly donor lapses is still very much worth it. You can have a conversation with the donor and offer a decrease in monthly gift or you will find that the donor did not really realize that their monthly donation stopped. In the case study presented, making another call to donors a few months after they lapsed can generate a response rate of 28% of them saying yes to coming back!

The bottom line is: Do not be afraid of using the phone to support your fundraising programs. There are several wonderful tele-fundraising agencies that specialize in working with nonprofits and finding ways to make their donors feel special.

So, if it’s done right, your donors will love you and they will love you back because of it!  Your fundraising revenue will thrive and your number of monthly donors will grow!

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