Episode 31: How to retain crowdfunding donors

Although charitable crowdfunding is a fairly new fundraising mechanism, these days it’s a very common tool. Many nonprofits- whether they are small organizations just getting off the ground or huge, established nonprofits -have some sort of crowdfunding component in their development plan.

But, for as much as nonprofits utilize crowdfunding and rely on it as a source of revenue, avenues for retention of donors that are acquired through these sites is lacking. And that is concerning because while retention of donors overall is fairly low, around 45%, retention of crowdfunding donors is even lower than that at around 25%.

If you’re going to pour all of this effort into running a successful crowdfunding campaign, of course you want those donors you acquired to become a part of your pool of committed, loyal donors. So how can we convert crowdfunding donors to loyal donors?

The article, The role you play, the life you have: Donor retention in online charitable crowdfunding platform, investigates what factors influence donor donation and attrition behavior in the online crowdfunding space.

Here’s what you can expect to take away from this episode…

⦿ How donor retention and attrition are affected by donation relationship, the donation experience

⦿ How marketing strategies such as matching gift campaigns affect donor behavior

⦿ Why segmenting your communications based on how you acquired a donor may help with retention


⦿ [2:44] But, once the campaign is over, and those specific, urgent needs are no longer there, it can be difficult to now switch these donors over to being long-term givers who provide general support.
⦿ [7:55] The researchers came up with a conceptual model for donor retention behavior and in this model there are two general features that affect donor retention behavior.
⦿ [11:30] The authors reference customer loyalty studies- so not necessarily donors but a similar idea- and they say, “the referral may help to mitigate new customers’ perceived risk of purchasing online and increase their willingness to buy. Similarly, if all else being equal, we argue that for donors who are acquired from a teacher referral in DC.org, there is a transference of the referrer’s positive and trust attitudes to the receivers.”
⦿ [14:00] Interestingly, the success of the first campaign they donated to and whether the donor received a thank you from the teacher were not found to have any significant influence on donation rate.
⦿ [15:53] Typically, nonprofits look at their total donor retention rate. But, if we look at the total rate, we could be missing out on key areas for improvement, or we could be pouring resources into the wrong activities.
⦿ [17:40] Nonprofits pour a lot of time and energy into getting crowdfunding campaigns off the ground, as well as following other avenues for acquiring new donors. And, nonprofits spend considerably less time planning for how to communicate with donors once the campaign has ended.

Click here to listen!


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⦿ Article: The role you play, the life you have: Donor retention in online charitable crowdfunding platform
⦿ Episode 25: How to Raise More Funds Using a Commit Now and Pay Later Model
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