5 ways to use multi-channel campaigns to retain first-time donors 

The Brief
The drive to retain donors is only getting more and more difficult. Smart nonprofit leaders are leveraging multi-channel approaches to create efficient, high-impact marketing solutions and convert one-time donors into life-long supporters. In our latest white paper, we discussed donor loss and multi-channel strategy with New York Cares’ deputy executive director-external affairs Anne Corry. Here are her 5 tips for nonprofits facing donor retention issues.

1.       Find one good story.

Donors like to see what their dollars do. In that way, says Corry, one good beneficiary story can be stronger than a hundred Powerpoint slides. Use an engaging, robust narrative every time you contact your donors; it will help foster trust while keeping them engaged with your mission. 

2.      Don’t use social media as a megaphone.

Social media is a two-way communication platform, but, according to Corry, too many organizations use it to merely broadcast, when they should be conversing with their donor base. Get people talking to you, and soon, they’ll be talking about you, too. 

3.      Interact offline.

Implementing a new database can be expensive, but it offers huge returns, such as critical—and up-to-dateinformation about your donor base—who’s joining, who’s leaving and who to reach out to next.

5.      Start today.

Hosting events might sound like a big investment, especially for a small nonprofit, but organizations of all sizes can reap the benefits of offering donors the feeling of exclusivity. If your organization can’t afford champagne fountains and ice sculptures, Corry says, there’s just as much impact in low-cost alternatives, like site visits.

4.      Embrace big data.

Retaining first-time donors starts with that first post-donation message, and the longer you wait to make the connection, the greater the risk that you lose out on it altogether. The sooner strategic multi-channel outreach plans are implemented, the sooner your organization can see success. 

For Corry’s recommendations on communication goals with first-time donors, and more information about multi-channel marketing strategies, download the white paper here. 


RelSci provides a relationship capital platform that helps create competitive advantage for organizations through a crucial yet vastly underutilized asset: relationship capital with influential decision makers. 

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