You also likely know that it’s especially important to retain your first-time donors because the people who make that second or “golden” donation are more likely to continue supporting your mission in the future.
In this post, we’re going to talk about donor retention rates for the nonprofit industry as a whole and the average first-time donor retention rate for Bloomerang customers.
Scroll down to the second prompt (Let’s talk about your donor retention rate).
Look for the green text (Don’t know yours? Calculate your donor retention rate).
Find the arrow next to it; the arrow will be pointing up.
Click the arrow and it will point down, revealing a green box with form fields.
Enter your donor information in the fields.
Look for the number that automatically appears at the end of the sentence that says “Your donor retention rate is.” That’s your donor retention rate!
Tip: We recommend setting aside time to look at donor retention by programs or campaigns. For example, if you have a monthly giving program, how many donors who joined the program in 2021 continued participating in the program in 2022? The more data you have on hand, the better!
Bloomerang nonprofit customers retain donors at a higher rate than the industry average. How does your nonprofit compare?
According to research from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, as of 2022:
The industry average first-time donor retention rate was 18.6%.
This is a decrease from the 2020 and the 2019 retention rates.
Here’s a look at how Bloomerang nonprofit customers retained first-time donors:
The average first-time donor retention rate was 22.2%.
This is a 3.6 point increase over the industry average.
When looking at the top 20% of their first-time donors, the average retention rate was 29.4%.
This is a 10.8 point increase over the industry average.
How does your nonprofit’s retention rate compare? Is it higher or lower than the industry average? Has that rate increased or decreased over the last few years?
What about the top 20% of your first-time donors? What percentage of those donors did you retain and is that an increase or decrease over the previous years?
How does Bloomerang help nonprofits increase their first-time donor retention rate?
If your first-time donor retention rate falls below the industry average or you’ve seen a decrease in that rate over the years, don’t despair—there are plenty of ways to increase the number of first-time donors you retain.
Acknowledge the donation immediately. Donors want to know that their gift was successfully processed as soon as possible. One way of reassuring them is to send an automated acknowledgement email with a donation receipt.
How Bloomerang helps: With Bloomerang, you can set up an automated email with just a few clicks. You can also personalize those messages to give the donor more information about your nonprofit or to share more about the impact their donation will have on your mission.
Thank donors. One way to win a donor’s continued support is to show them how much you appreciate them. In addition to thanking them in your acknowledgement email, you should reach out and thank them in a more personal way.
How Bloomerang helps: You’ll receive a notification when someone makes a donation for the first time. Because you have this data on hand, you can easily add them to a segment just for first-time donors and engage them in a meaningful, personalized way. You’ll also receive reminders to call first-time donors.
Keep donors informed about their impact and your work. Donors gave once. That’s great! But how do you get them to give again? You show them what their support has helped your nonprofit accomplish and how an additional donation will help you in the future.
How Bloomerang helps: With Bloomerang, you can create and schedule a series of emails that will educate donors about your mission and inspire them to give again.
As the CMO for Bloomerang, Ann is responsible for the company's marketing and thought leadership programs to strengthen relationships with the nonprofit community. Ann brings more than 24 years of technology marketing experience, including time at the Minnesota High Tech Association. Prior to Bloomerang, Ann was an independent marketing consultant for B2B SaaS businesses, served as Senior Vice President of Marketing at Code42, and was named one of the “Top Women Leaders in SaaS of 2018.”