Increasing donations to your nonprofit requires retaining the donors you have cultivated. Yet, frequently nonprofits accept the donation, give them a receipt and maybe keep them in a database with little future contact. Here’s some ABC tips to retaining and recognizing your donors.

Appreciation of donors begins with the charitable donation receipt and continues with regular and ongoing thank yous in small and large ways. When thanking donors avoid asking for more money.

Board of Directors are a resource for thanking donors. Directors help cultivate donors and they should be the one to thank those donors. Writing thank you notes signed by the Board of Directors is one simple task. Donors appreciate meeting one on one with directors and who knows, maybe a donor will one day join your board and help cultivate new donors.

Connection between the nonprofit and the donor is becoming more important to donors. Creating the connection can be expressed in different ways depending on the donor. They may respond to touring your facility, meeting clients receiving your services, volunteering or serving on an Advisory Board. Always ask your donors what they want to see and know about your work and how they want to be part of your success.

Donor Management Systems are a valuable tool to tracking each donor. Donors donate for many different reasons and when and how they donate and the money they donate. It allows your organization to determine what they have been donating, when and why. Was there a specific letter they responded to or do they give during a annual gives day? Learn each donors partners and customize your next asks

Events to thank your donors, without asking for any money, provides a way for donors to learn more about your organization and meet other donors.

Free fundraiser events are a great to reward special donors. Consider offering a free ticket to select donors who regularly attend fundraising events. This is more of a thank you than an ask for money. Although this is not a ask for money, they may still donate at the event.


Honor your donors with a special custom gift on their birthday or anniversary. Recognizing their special events keeps a strong connection with your donor.

Involvement in your activities may be enticing to some donors. Find ways to include your donors by inviting them to some of your programmatic activities.

Jazzy ways of recognizing donors keeps them interested in your nonprofit.

Keep donors intents and interests at the top of mind with any communications.

Longevity is a primary goal to pursue in stewarding your donors. Consider ways that will keep your donor around forever. The longer you have donors, the more they increase their giving dollar amounts.

Major Gifts are often discussions left out by nonprofits, but often on the mind of some donors. Learn about planned giving and how to discuss with your donors to add another income source that can have a lasting impact. Gifts of charitable remainder trust, life insurance, annuities, endowments and donor advised funds are some ways donors leave a legacy.

Novel ways of thanking and appreciating donors can be discussed by your Board and Staff keeping active interest in your organization’s activities

One-on-One meetings to get to know your donor interests and impact to the organization help feel more involved.

Personalized Touches like learning their favorite colors, children’s activities or special vacation places help to keep connections with your donors.

Quick and easy methods can help save time and money for the organization. Taking a few minutes a day to write notes or make a couple of phone calls can go along way to tackle donor reach out campaigns.

Results can be measured and tracked by your organization to ensure the outreach activities.

Surveys sent to your donors will help your organization be responsive to your donor needs and interests ensuring you are doing the right activities to retain all your donors.

Tracking donors includes keeping a notes section in your Donor Management Software. These notes can be seen by everyone and add additional special touches to your contacts with each donor.

Understanding your donors is critically important. It’s important to know why they gave to and what will have them giving in the future.


Wills are a result of long term cultivation of a donor.

Xoxo, saying you care and even love your donor is the best way to keep them coming back for more impact.

Yes to requests your donors have creates a strong bond and ongoing connection between you both.

Zillions of dollars and donors are open to your nonprofit. By stewarding your existing donors you can have long term relationships that will reward your nonprofit for years to come.