Why Donors Stop Giving and How Text Messaging Can Help

Kevin D. Hendricks
Why Donors Stop Giving and How Text Messaging Can Help

It’s hard enough for nonprofits to get a new donor to give. But then so many are just one-time givers and your fundraising efforts need to work that much harder. So why do donors dry up and stop giving? We’ve got the data, plus tips on how to use text messaging to build relationships and encourage repeat donations.

Why Donors Stop Giving

Adrian Sargeant, an expert on nonprofit fundraising, did research on why donors stop giving. Here are the common reasons his research revealed:

  • 5% thought charity did not need them.
  • 8% got no information about how monies were used.
  • 9% had no memory of supporting.
  • 13% never got thanked for donating.
  • 16% passed away.
  • 18% thought the charity had poor service or communication.
  • 35% thought others were more deserving.
  • 54% could no longer afford to give.
Reasons supporters stopped giving.

Some of these you can’t control, obviously. Marketers can do a lot, but death is beyond us all. And the financial situation of donors can always change. 

But the rest of these are completely within your control as a nonprofit. 

It’s up to you to properly communicate the need.

Why Text Messaging Can Keep Donors Giving

You need a solid communication strategy to boost donor retention and re-engage lapsed donors. It often comes down to being personal. That’s why at Rally we’re focused on human-centered text messaging:

  • Captive: People are glued to their mobile phones 24/7. You can reach people where they’re at.
  • Immediate: Cell phones are a nearly real-time medium. Instead of relying on the social media algorithms, the gamble of email inboxes, or the delays of snail mail, text message marketing boasts incredible open rates and response rates.
  • Effective: A good photo, a quick story, and an easy way to donate are a compelling call to action.

5 Ways to Use Text Messaging to Bring Donors Back

Yes, texting works. So how can you use text messaging to bring donors back? Here are five quick examples to counteract those reasons people stop giving.

  1. Say thanks: Gratitude is a no-brainer. You should send back a thank you text immediately, but don’t stop there. Follow up with several more thank yous over time.
  2. Show accomplishment: How did you put that donation to work? Send a text message telling that story. Give stats, a quote, a picture—something to show how their gift was put to good use.
  3. Share need: Talk about the ongoing need your nonprofit organization meets. What’s the urgency? You always need to be making the case for your mission. Make sure people feel that need. And summarizing it in a text message? That’s a good exercise in brevity.
  4. Story matters: Good communication isn’t just letters from your executive director. In fact, those can be dull and forgettable. You need to tell a story, and text messaging can be an ideal way to share short, impactful stories.
  5. Schedule more: Every nonprofit organization is full of busy people wearing multiple hats. We get it. It’s easy to brainstorm the perfect text campaign and then have no time to implement it. Schedule simple text message campaigns once a month to touch base with your donors. They can be short and sweet, but they help you build that relationship so eventually that new donor will become a recurring donor.

Do you see a pattern in some of these tips? You need to communicate. And communicate. And then communicate again. It’s a marketing truism that you have to over-communicate. You may be tired of repeating the same message, but your audience hasn’t even heard it the first time. Keep repeating yourself.

Rally: We’ll Help You Get Results

Ready to reach out to your supporters and make sure you don’t become one of these statistics? We can help. Book a demo today to see Rally’s text messaging platform in action. 

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