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Salsa Blog

Fixing the Holes in Your Nonprofit’s Acquisition and Retention Funnel

ICYMI, during last week’s webinar “How to Grow Your List and Engage New Supporters” hosted by Nonprofit Pro, we took a deep dive into the world of new donor acquisition. In other words, learning exactly how to grow your list.

Pamela Barden of PJ Barden, Inc. kicked things off by giving us the cold, hard facts about growing your list:

  • It’s expensive.
  • It’s hard work.
  • You’ll probably fail as often as you succeed.
  • It’s essential.

It’s undeniable - retaining your existing base of supporters is important. But without a well-constructed funnel responsible for routinely pulling in new people to your organization, you cannot sustain your work over the long-term. But can you do both – donor acquisition and retention – at the same time? And is it possible to do them both well? (Here are the answers to more of your burning fundraising questions submitted during that webinar.)

If you attended the webinar, you should know the answer is a resounding “yes!” Here are a few tried and true methods I shared during my portion of the presentation and that we’ve learned over the years for bringing more people to your cause. Share this infographic:


But beyond implementing tactics, solid acquisition comes from having the organizational buy-in necessary for real strategic vision and change. That means setting realistic expectations based on clear data. For example, do you know what your organization’s attrition rate is? If not, you're not alone – nearly 80% of the webinar attendees didn’t know either.

The truth is acquisition and retention are intricately linked. And ultimately, the more data you have about your organization’s rate of retention, the easier it will be to plug the holes in your funnel to ensure that people want to get on your list in the first place and will also want to stick around long after they do.

Topics: Fundraising Marketing