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Make a plan to retain donors in the year ahead

Posted December 10, 2021 by Virginia Davidson

how to make a plan to retain donors

Thanks to year-end giving, you probably receive more gifts in December than any other month of the year. As you scramble to enter these year-end gifts into your database and send prompt acknowledgments, don’t forget the importance of making a plan to retain those donors in the new year.

Here are some ideas to add to your plan to retain donors after you’ve acknowledged their year-end gift:

Send year-end tax statements

Sending year-end tax statements provides donors with a convenient summary of their charitable contributions for the year. These statements aren’t just a helpful document for donors as they complete their taxes. They provide your organization with an additional opportunity to express gratitude for your donors’ charitable giving. They also convey to donors that your nonprofit is organized and professional.

Report back

Within the first quarter of the year, send another communication to update donors on your organization’s activities and impact. Provide at least one specific example of what their donation is making possible this year.

Communicate on a regular basis

Make sure all your donors are included in your regular mailings and email communications. Regular, consistent communication will help them keep your organization top of mind and remind them how satisfying it is to support your mission.

Ask again

Once you have thoroughly thanked, reported to, and communicated with your donors, you can include them in an appeal solicitation. Most donors won’t give unless they’re asked, so don’t assume that they’ll make a repeat contribution on their own. Need help with writing your appeal letter? Check out our quick guide to writing a compelling appeal letter.


Without a plan in place to retain them, you shouldn’t count on repeat support from your supporters. Follow the tips we’ve shared to ensure that the potential of your existing donors isn’t overlooked, and you’ll be well poised for another successful year-end giving season.

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