When it comes to your donor retention rate there is no one “magic bullet,” but there are known levers you can pull to in order to have a lasting impact on monthly member retention rates.
In 2017, Membership Drive was hired by the The Outreach Team to create a new, innovative approach to face-to-face fundraising – Smart Door – with an aim of delivering a program with superior donor retention rates. Smart Door works by targeting the existing, lapsed, and “look alike” donors. By utilizing existing donor data, Smart Door is able to reactivate lapsed donors and upgrades existing donors efficiently and has a comparable donor rate for recruitment as other canvass methods.
A Technology Driven Door to Door Canvass Model Optimized for Monthly Donor Retention
The Smart Door approach is beneficial in a number of ways. First, we all know how hard it is to recruit new donors. Upgrading or winning back past donors in a way that retains them for the long-haul is crucial.
We all know that donors tend to respond via channels similar to how they first joined our organizations. Canvass give more over the phone than via direct mail. This is because the phone interaction is closer to a face-to-face interaction. While email and telemarketing are useful ways to renew and upgrade canvass donors, neither rival an additional face-to-face interaction. A Smart Door approach — supercharged with mapping tools and predictive analytics to find “look alike” likely donors — functions primarily as a “re-engagement team.” Face-to-face street canvassing continues to deliver a quality donor rate for a scalable acquisition model that generates revenue, while your Smart Door program can serve as a powerful tool for renewing and upgrading your members.
90% Donor Retention in Month 4
What about the data? The Outreach Team is retaining 90% of all donors in the fourth month of the donor’s membership. Each donor they recruit is worth more than double the value of donors recruited via street canvassing. Sources at a large US based global nonprofit tell us that in a similar program, the lifetime value of their Smart Door donors doubles that of the industry average for street donors.
A portion of The Outreach Team’s success thus far has been through their partnership with Membership Drive. Membership Drive delivers the only true end-to-end digital canvass solution, featuring canvasser integrity check technology, which improve donor retention by preventing high-attrition behaviors. One Membership Drive partner, running a street program, implemented this tool and increased its member retention with eight percent more donors contributing in their second month of membership.
Payment Method, Gateway Selection, and Donor Retention
Payment method is another key driver of donor retention. Data demonstrates that EFT or on an American Express donors give twice as long as regular credit card donors. This is because checking account number rarely change and American Express has superior security protocols in place. Furthermore, debit cards tend to have the highest attrition rates, possibly due to constant card changes due to identity theft. Membership Drive’s donation form pushes donors to give with EFT and American Express donations. The Outreach Team’s training, plus the Membership Drive form, results in 80% high retention payment methods.
In addition, the charity that The Outreach Team works with has made the right decisions about which payment gateway to use.