Donor Retention

What Is Donor Retention?

Retention is the second phase of the donor lifecycle, which entails engaging existing donors so that they continue to give to the organization each year. By doing so, you have retained that donor. Retention efforts include encouraging a donor to give on a set schedule and interacting with them regularly so that they feel valued.

How Does Retention Come Into Play With The Donor Lifecycle?

Retention is the second phase of the donor lifecycle, in between Acquisition and Upgrade. Once clients are brought into the organization and make a donation, the goal is to retain them so that they continue to give year after year.

donor lifecycle chart

Why It Matters

Bringing clients and donors into the organization is only the first step to securing financial capital. A lot of time, energy, and resources went into marketing and networking to turn these connections into donations. The retention phase is important because retaining clients as donors year after year means these efforts aren’t wasted, and they continue to serve the organization for years to come.

Donor Retention In Practice

Kindful’s dashboard gives you a complete view of your donor lifecycle analytics, helping your nonprofit track supporters through every stage.

Bottom Line

Retention ensures that nonprofits don’t waste the hard effort it took to bring new donors to the organization and that financial capital continues to come into the organization.

We made a comprehensive donor lifecycle guide that walks you through very practical metrics and actions based on your nonprofit’s donor lifecycle. It doesn’t quite do the work for you, but it gets very close, providing actual steps to begin nurturing your entire donor lifecycle and increasing your donor engagement. (Plus, we’ll give you a free donor lifecycle worksheet to help you get started.)

person holding ipad with donor lifecycle ebook

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