I could easily spend a couple of hours each day reading articles (and books) on customer loyalty and loyalty programs in the commercial space.

Here’s a typical example from DM News about companies like Target, Hilton, Best Buy etc and what they’re doing to capture more share of wallet from existing customers.

I guess the first point to make is that they’ve "found religion" in focusing more than ever  (in a down economy) on existing customers and leveraging the information they have on individual customers. There shouldn’t be anything new in that principle for nonprofit fundraisers.

But generally, there’s not a lot by way of directly transferable tactics to  adapt from the world of Gold Clubs, Gold Cards, REDcards etc and their points and rewards systems. Still, I keep fishing.

Here are two possibilities that any nonprofit might consider:

1. Recognizing individual donors when they reach certain tenure thresholds, as in …

"Tom, we see that you’ve now been a member for two (three, five, whatever) years and we want to remind you of some of the accomplishments your contributions have made possible over that period."

2. Recognizing individual donors when they reach certain cumulative giving thresholds, as in …

"Tom, you might not realize it, but with your last gift of $50, you’ve now generously contributed over $500 to XXX. Let me tell how much we appreciate your steadfast support … and here’s a small token of our appreciation."

And maybe those notes are handwritten (even if the giving was online).

Any Agitator readers doing something basic like this? It might sound simple, but it’s a very competitive world out there for nonprofits … and getting much more so, as we’ll be discussing next week.


P.S. Of course, if your nonprofit is doing something far more sophisticated to recognize donor loyalty, go ahead, brag to us!

This article was posted in: Donor retention / loyalty / commitment, Fundraising analytics / data.
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