donor loyalty

The 3 key ingredients to donor loyalty

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No matter your business or organisation, there’s always one constant. And that’s your customers. Or, more specifically, their loyalty. For as much as you might want to chase new donors for your charity, it’s those who have been by your side forever that mean a lot. They believe in your cause and want to support you.


But that will only go so far. Fostering that sense of loyalty is as important for a charity as it is any other business. A long-term report this year by About Loyalty says as much. It explains why they found that donors gave 20% more after three years, and that 15% more donors continued to give after the same amount of time.


So let’s take a look at this report, the insights it has, and what that might mean for you.


Loyalty is driven by commitment, satisfaction, and trust

The report rightly pointed out that loyalty is a very emotional response. And they found that three aspects affected this the most: commitment, satisfaction, and trust. In terms of importance to donors, they’re in that order.


Perceived performance of how a charity is operating was also important, but they found that this was more an indication of trust. It itself didn’t contribute to loyalty. Rather, the perception of what a charity is doing more so influences how much a donor then trusts said charity. In fact, that’s the most successful way to build trust according to the report. So if that’s an area you feel you need to improve, consider how you put your cause across to them.


But it isn’t as simple as putting all of your focus into increasing trust, for example. So what goes into each of these qualities?



In this case, it’s the commitment of the donor to the cause. Loyalty comes from their belief in what you’re doing. And, more specifically, their belief that their help is vital to what you do. That’s not to say it’s something you can’t affect. To foster commitment in a donor, they need to feel committed to you, your work, and your relationship together. That’s something you can do by showing them how their donations affect the people you help.



In a similar vein, donors like to feel like they’ve done some good. The report found that satisfaction grows when their expectations are exceeded. This is again going to come down to how you communicate what you’ve been doing and how they specifically aided in that. A sincere thank you can go a long way in this.



Something else the report wanted to note is how hard trust is to build, but also how easy it is to destroy. Bad news not only affects trust in your charity, but also in the wider sector. This ties back to the point we raised before. That trust is heavily tied with perceived performance. So how you convey the work you’re doing is vital.


The benefits of increasing loyalty

You might be left asking “why”. Why is it important to build up loyalty? The report is filled with interesting statistics that explain exactly why. It introduced the idea of a “loyalty score” which could be used to measure a donor’s likely behaviour. Here are some of the highlights of what they found:


🟠 Every one-point increase in the loyalty score translated to 15% more donors continuing to give over the following three years.


🟠 Each one-point increase also led to a rise in a donor’s giving value by 4.2%.


🟠 For every 100 donors you have, this one-point increase could lead to an additional £1,417 over the next three years.


🟠 Extrapolated out, this could mean an extra £14,000 for 1,000 donors, or £1 million for 70,000 donors.


The money increases are staggering when you look at the data. Of those surveyed during the research, 20.8% were found to have a high loyalty score. They were more than 95% likely to support the charity again. Whereas of those with a much lower loyalty score, less than 75% would support again.


It’s clear to see why donor loyalty is important. How you do that will depend on how you approach the qualities of commitment, satisfaction, and trust. Do you try to make your donors more committed? Are they satisfied with their experience with you? And do they trust you to get the job done? These are areas well worth looking at.


Start your improvement journey in your retail shops. Customers won’t be satisfied with a subpar experience. So make sure your EPoS is up to scratch. Beat the cues and make donations effortless with CHARiotWeb. To find out more, call us today on 01204 706000.