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GivingTuesday is Over, Welcome to Stewardship Wednesday!

Another GivingTuesday is over – one we hope will be immensely successful – to the many social good organizations around the world. Across the United States, it’s predicted that $605 million will be raised solely on GivingTuesday, that’s an 18% increase over 2019. With such a trying year for nonprofits across the globe, this annual day of fundraising is more critical than ever before.

But the donor cycle doesn’t just stop after a donor hits ‘submit’ on your online donation form. If anything, the journey is only now beginning!

Ask yourself, how are you planning to steward and engage your donors and volunteers to retain them next year – and beyond?

If you respond, “I’m not sure!” you’re not alone! Many fundraisers are unsure of the next steps to take to ensure they retain as many donors as possible for years of giving. We’re sharing three easy ways to steward and cultivate your new donors, so they become lifelong donors.

Break Out That Stationary For Your Donor Thank You Strategy

Did you know that first-time donors who receive a personal thank you within 48 hours are four times more likely to give again? That’s right! Thanking a new donor within 48 hours equals a 400% improvement in renewal rates. Even in the whirlwind days following GivingTuesday – or any fundraising campaign- it’s prudent to send a thank you email to donors.

In 2013, Roger Craver reported in The Agitator that “a three-minute thank-you phone call will boost first-year retention by 30%.” In 2017, Leah Eustace at Good Works confirmed this phenomenon: “A one-minute thank-you call to new donors increased conversion by over 30%.”

Yet, few organizations prioritize a donor thank you program. It should be a priority to implement and manage a donor thank you program, so your organization continues to grow its donor base.

Ready, Set, Action!

Online video consumption is one of the most popular ways to consume content across the world. In 2018, the number of digital video views in the United States amounted to 228.8 million viewers and is projected to reach 248.9 million video viewers in 2022. It’s a safe bet to say, video content isn’t going anywhere! Sending videos via email and social media is a great and quick way to thank your new donors. Even better, by simply including the word ‘video’ in an email subject line, it’s been shown to increase email opens by 20%.

But don’t think you have to be Steven Spielberg to film a great video!

Donors relish authenticity, so don’t feel that you need to invest in state-of-the-art video equipment. A simple point-and-shoot camera, or even your trusty smartphone, is all it takes to make a quick 2-3 minute video thanking a donor. Film and share a general thank you message that you can post along your social media channels to reach others!

Establish Next Steps For Increased Donor Retention

You’ve captured a new audience of donors, but what happens after the initial donation? Develop a short information page, or landing page, to include in your thank you email. This page should include information about where their donation goes, its impact, and how to easily contribute on a routine basis (think monthly donors, estate planning, and more).

Bonus Tip:

Interested in learning more about how to retain your donors and volunteers after a major fundraising campaign? Register for our upcoming webinar, “You’ve Got 90 Days to Keep ‘Em” on December 10th at 2 p.m. EDT.

Download our whitepaper, “On Accurately Calculating Donor Retention”, to learn how to accurately calculate donor retention rates, how to apply those calculations to your donor segmentations, and analyze it year-over-year.

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