Non-Profits Can Improve Donor Retention With CRM

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Many businesses understand that developing long-term relationships is more cost-effective than trying to attract and engage new prospects. Similarly, non-profit organizations can benefit from focusing on donor retention instead of solely focusing on finding new donors.  Non-profits can improve their donor retention efforts, as well as learn how to attract new donors more effectively, by implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) solution.

As discussed in “Low Donor Retention Takes More Than a Board Meeting to Solve,” posted by Jay Love on, many for-profit businesses often expect renewal rates of around 90%.  Board members for non-profits are often surprised at how much lower their donor retention rates can be as compared to for-profit businesses.  First year retention rates for a non-profit may average approximately 22.9% and repeat retention rates are often much larger, at around 60.8%, according to Love.  Non-profit boards of directors could improve retention and donation rates by discussing why there is such a gap between the first and second donation.  You may find that investing more resources in relationship-building activities with current donors can yield better retention and donation rates than spending time finding new donors.  However, determining whether this strategy would work for your non-profit requires a close look at your efforts and the results.  A customer relationship management (CRM) solution can provide the insight you need to accomplish this task.

A robust CRM solution can provide visibility throughout your marketing efforts, donation activities, and relationships with new and long-term supporters. Automating marketing efforts and tracking interactions with your supporters by using an innovative CRM solution, such as Microsoft Dynamics® CRM, can save valuable time and provide insight that you can use to nurture long-term relationships.  You can use built-in business intelligence to learn how marketing efforts are being received and then leverage that data to develop more effective marketing programs.  The more you learn about your supporters, the better you can develop services that pique their interest and encourage repeat donations.  You can also use a CRM solution to track referrals, manage pledge and contribution programs, monitor in-kind donations, and manage operational and grant budgets.

Whether you are evaluating donor retention rates or other activities, a CRM solution can provide the insight you need. Contact Sherwood Systems to learn more about how CRM can improve donor retention and strengthen relationships with supporters.

By Sherwood Systems, Arizona Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM Partner

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