Donor retention is the holy grail of fundraising.  Each year, every nonprofit loses donors…and those lost donors are much more costly and time consuming to replace than those that could be retained.

There are many factors that influence donor retention, but a recent experiment unveiled a very simple way to help increase retention.  The answer?  Hand written thank you notes.

Simple and effective.  The experiment (conducted by the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind) found that hand written thank you notes for previous gifts led to a 8% increase in donor retention.  Revenue from repeat donors jumped over $650,000 in one year due to the change.

Fundraising is a personal business.  Keep reminding yourself of that and find ways to personalize the thank you when you receive a gift.  You don’t need to spend a lot of money to do this or invest in donor gifts.  Just take some time each day to hand write thank you notes to your donors.  See if it makes a difference for your organization.