As nonprofit donations continue to grow in the U.S. and markets abroad, it's time for charitable organizations to think more about donor retention. The average American household contributed nearly $3,000 to nonprofits in 2013. In total, U.S. citizens donated more than $335 billion in 2013, which represented a 4.4 percent increase over a two-year period, the National Philanthropic Trust reported, citing Giving USA Foundation statistics.

Given that information, charities need to focus on ways to encourage donors to give on a recurring basis. While securing a single contribution is a win in itself, nonprofits can acquire more capital by asking for smaller, monthly donations as opposed to single, large contributions. Keeping that in mind, here are three ways nonprofits can improve recurring donations:

  1. Ask for advice: As a nonprofit, you're likely already engaging with your donors in some way, shape or form. Since you've already determined the best ways to interact with your donors, you can create a meaningful line of communication by asking for their advice. People ultimately like their opinion to be heard, and if your organization asks benefactors what they think about a particular issue or event, they're more than likely to chime in. And once they're invested in this, there's a better chance they'll donate to the cause. This is a great way to make the donor feel valued. 
  2. Get social with it: The flow of content these days is seemingly endless. The Internet provides users with a constant stream of information, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But it may be difficult to keep your nonprofit top of mind with donors as a result. But that's no need to worry; all you need to do is engage more with donors on social media. Hubspot suggests that nonprofits get creative by educating through online webinars on YouTube and Google Plus, host a social media contest on Facebook and Twitter or even have a LinkedIn happy hour for donors to network with one another. The contests, events or education sessions will vary based on the work your organization does, but the underlying theme is simple: Keep creating relevant content and platforms for your donors to engage with your brand. In doing so, you're giving them a chance to remember you and your cause on a consistent basis. The more your name remains top of mind, the better chance your donors will keep contributing.
  3. Make it easy for the donor: Nothing trips up donors more than a complicated contribution process. Online donations aren't a fad; they're an industry mainstay. That said, your nonprofit needs to prioritize a seamless donation and payment processing portal for donors to make contributions on. Nonprofits can dramatically improve their recurring donation rates if they allow benefactors to make autonomous monthly donations on your website. If it's a seamless process, they're more likely to keep giving since it's no skin off of their backs to do so.

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