QUICK SHOT: New Year, New Donors

Maximizing Long-Term Donor Value in 3 Steps

Hooray, you’ve acquired new donors last fall! You’re starting the new year with new donors! So… now what?

In a world that seems like it is ever-changing, one thing we know for sure has remained the same. The sooner you can get new donors to make a second gift, the more valuable they become in the long term.

Chart showing the five year donor value by interval between 1st and 2nd gift


Here are 3 great ways to secure that second gift and maximize donor value in 2024:

Your new donor has done something good and we want them to know that. A thank you letter or receipt is a simple but effective way to acknowledge their gift and make them feel appreciated.

Whether this is done through the mail or in an email, your message should be sincere and welcoming. A heartfelt message from the Executive Director or CEO that contains a receipt of the donor’s gift details and a follow-up ask will make them feel invited to stay involved in your organization. For more on best practices for crafting meaningful thank you letters, read my colleague Amanda Kirby’s article here

Nowadays it is welcome, and even expected, to have things automated. Once your new donor has made their first gift, there is an opportunity for them to be a part of your organization on a monthly basis without them having to even worry about it.

When you’re welcoming your new donors to the team, offer them a chance to become a monthly donor. This not only secures future donations, but also makes their lives easier! And who doesn’t want that?

The ways a donor can help aren’t limited to monetary donations. Get your new donors IN to your organization by sharing volunteer opportunities or a chance to take a tour.

I often hear our client partners talk about stories they hear from donors – that they didn’t know even half of the work that went into what they do until they saw it firsthand. Bringing them in for a “behind the scenes” look into the hurt and need that you serve helps provide a deeper understanding for why it’s important for them to give.

As BDI’s former Chief Client Officer, Lolly, often said – we need to make donors STICKY.

Your donors have given their hard-earned dollars to your organization because they believe in what you’re doing to make a difference. Keep them informed by sharing updates, being transparent and sharing the true need and “why.”

Acquire and reactivate more donors.

Step one, check! With the fall season just behind us, we know you’ve gained some new donors and reactivated some past ones. 

Retain more donors.

Get that second gift! We already know how valuable donors can be once they’ve made a second gift. Prevent donors from falling off of your file and keep them involved. 

Cultivate donors to maximize income.

Prioritize upgrading your new donors by getting them to give larger gifts and give more often. Whether it’s giving monthly or leveling up in their giving category – we want to maximize their potential. 

Retaining new donors for the long run can seem like a daunting task, but your BDI team is here to help. Send me an email or reach out to your BDI Strategist today for any questions you may have about nurturing those valuable new donor relationships and maximizing donor value in 2024.

And you can find many more resources on donor retention and cultivation on the BDI site – my colleague Michelle Culbertson shared some great donor retention strategies in this recent article.

  • Amanda Robledo

    Amanda Robledo, Account Executive

    Before entering the world of nonprofit fundraising, Amanda had more than 15 years of experience working in customer relations in a variety of industries. She was led to join the team at BDI by her desire to serve others and help make our communities stronger.

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