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"I am campaign manager for _____ who is running for Jackson County commissioner. I just found your program and was impressed. I find it easy to use and intuitive. Keep up the good work!"
-- Aaron H., Oregon
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When an organization loses a repeat donor, it loses in two ways. First, a lost donor is lost not only for this year, but for every year to follow. Secondly, the hoped for gifts from every lost donor will have to be replaced with money from new donors, and replacing a lost donor is usually not a one-for-one exchange. That's because, in general, the longer a donor gives to an organization, the more frequent and larger those gifts become.

The longer a donor gives to an organization the more likely those gifts are to grow in size and frequency.

Losing a donor is so painful to me that my objective has always been to never let it to happen. I wish I could say I have met that objective. Still though, we must strive to hold onto every donor by consciously and actively working to build donor loyalty.

Three Basic Truths Of Donor Loyalty

I've learned that there are no shortcuts to donor loyalty, but that building it isn't a scholarly exercise either. It's mostly common sense and the willingness to keep at it. The three basic truths of donor loyalty are:

  1. Organizations are not entitled to donor loyalty: They must first earn it and then constantly re-earn it.
  2. Building donor loyalty is not magic: It is simply hard work on the part of people who are thoroughly prepared.
  3. You don't wait for the "right" time to build donor loyalty: you do it all the time.

Donor loyalty is achieved by responding to our donors with:
-- Active cultivation
-- Careful consideration
-- Respectful appreciation

Building Donor Loyalty is an excerpt from a longer article, by the same name. To read the full length article go to Tony's site.

Tony Poderis writes about fund development based on his more than 30 years experience. His career includes 20 years as Director of Development for The Cleveland Orchestra, and more than 10 years  as a consuitant to both large and small organizations.  For more of his clear and well grounded articles, visit his website at