Published: about 3 years ago by Elizabeth Fu.
We often focus our energy on getting new donors, but the real key is to cultivate our existing donor base. Two-thirds of potential donors are lost by organizations. Who are these two-thirds? They are habitual/repeat donors who an organization may recognize, but doesn’t know how to further engage. This is a key takeaway I heard at a recent fundraising workshop.
How do different boards and organizations overcome this hurdle? I’m intrigued by this predicament and raise the following points:
In business there is a marketing metric on the cost of acquiring a new customer. Applying that to non-profits, are efforts better spent cultivating the donor base we have already invested in developing, rather than incrementally seeking new donors. What are your thoughts? What are some other ideas? Do we have tools or tips to share? I’m interested to hear how other boards and organizations further engaging their existing donor base. Add comments and let’s continue the conversation.
Elizabeth Fu is a member of the Open Books Associate Board as well as a volunteer at its bookstore in River North. She is a Consultant with the Government Finance Officers Association's Research and Consulting Center. She also sits on the All A-Board Alliance Steering Committee.