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Regular communication is important for donor loyalty

At Pareto Fundraising we use data and the insights it generates to work out what the optimum communications program should be to maximise lifetime value from donors.

The most important behavioural indicator for whether someone will give to you is whether they gave to you previously. And, the more recently someone gave, the more likely they are to give again.

So, mailing, emailing or phoning regularly means that you are constantly communicating with those most likely to become the loyal, dedicated group of donors that will help fund your non-profit.

One of the biggest causes of attrition – up to 53% according to Dr Adrian Sargeant – is the lack of communication from a charity. If they don’t hear from you, donors stop supporting your charity. It’s as simple as that.

 Never assume donors will give more … if they get less contact. 

It rarely works that way.

Also, when it comes to asking donors for a second gift, timing is important. It does vary slightly, depending on cause, channel of solicitation etc. but it’s always going to be somewhere within 90 days of that first gift.

Through benchmarking we can identify donors giving their second gift within zero-three months have the highest five-year donor value. And donor value decreases as the length of time between the first and second gift increases.

At Pareto, we took learnings from UK donor data around lifetime value and optimum conversion timings and applied it in Australia to find a similar result:

Across any given data set, increasing communications tends to increase the lifetime value of that data set. Not just short-term income, but overall giving.

Why is it then that many charities tend to under, not over-communicate with their donors?

Sometimes, the limit on the number of communications can be forced on a charity for internal reasons – the capacity to be able to produce multiple communications.

In other organisations, communication may be low because there are staff who believe reducing ‘donor fatigue’ or ‘donor burn-out’ is a priority over maximising engagement and donations from supporters. .

Donors love to help and giving feels good. Don’t take that away from them by under-communicating, however, you need to be smart and plan your touchpoints.

If you are speaking in your donors’ language and repeatedly giving them opportunity to change the world in ways that matter to them – and then thanking them and reporting back well – then you can keep up a high frequency of communication.

And, avoid the 53% donor departure rate.

So, in 2018 make your donor communications a strategy. Start by mapping your donor experience now. Talk to Pareto today about how we can use your data to drive strategy and tactics.

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