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Research on How to Turn Donors into Repeat Givers

Survey data that illuminates what motivates nonprofit donors to give again.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how donor retention is the biggest problem facing the modern nonprofit, with 73% of those first-time donors you work so hard to get not giving a second time. For many nonprofits, the retention rate is even lower.

Janna Finch, a nonprofit analyst and managing editor at Software Advice, recently surveyed 2,833 nonprofit donors to explore what motivates them to keep giving. Here's what she found:

  • 60% of donors want impact stories to prove how their first donation made a difference

  • 46% of donors prefer to be contacted with personalized letters

  • 35% prefer you wait seven months before asking for another donation

Janna told me, "It seems that demonstrating your mission’s success through impact stories and direct mail significantly encourage donors to give again." (You can follow Janna on Twitter @AbleAltruist.)

Here's a slideshare with the data; I found slide 3 particularly useful for thinking about nonprofit communications:

Thanks to Chantelle for sharing this research with me!