Effective donor engagement could increase your profits by over 30%

Guest blog by Eproductive

Retail Gift Aid increases the value of donations by 25%. It has dramatically increased the overall profitability of the sector over the last 15 years.

We think there is a huge untapped opportunity to make another step change in profitability by engaging effectively and personally with the 2.5 million Gift Aid donors that sign up to the scheme every year across all charity shops.

We’ve carried out some research on behalf of clients.

We analysed the donation behaviour of 35,000 donors across a range of clients going back as far as 2011.

We found that an average donor will donate for 4 ½ years and their donations will yield £180 in sales.  With Gift Aid the donor’s lifetime value goes up to £225.

If you could persuade the average donor to give just 5% more stock and stay as a donor for 6 months longer their lifetime value goes up by £37.50 to £262.50. This would increase the average shop’s profits by over 30% (based on Charity Finance survey 2019)

So… can we change donor behaviour by effective engagement?

We carried out some more research to see how much more stock was generated after a donor notification.

We looked at a sample of 9,500 donors across 11 client charities. These were donors who had never been notified before – half were just above the notification threshold and the other half were just below. We discovered that notified donors were an astonishing 53% more likely to donate stock in the 3 months after the notification than the non-notified donors.

We’ve been working hard with clients for some years to improve engagement. We introduced thank you emails which are sent on the day a stock donation is made and over 6 million emails have now been sent. We developed a supporter engagement email during lockdown and over 2.5 million were sent in the summer of 2020. Our digital donor sign up solution was introduced 3 years ago. Clients buy their own tablets, and we don’t charge extra for the software, so it’s been a very easy business case and the improvement in Gift Aid has been fantastic. Clients report a 15% increase in Gift Aid after going digital.

And our next major engagement initiative is the supporter app

Donors can now have their donor card on their phone, they can print their own barcodes to maintain social distance when donating. They can book a stock collection, look at volunteering opportunities and see the lottery results. There are links to your eBay store and the “What’s in Store” feature allows your shop managers to load interesting products onto the app, within minutes of them being donated at the counter, enticing supporters into their local store.

And the final feature we have just introduced is supporter achievements. Supporters get recognition at key points along their journey with you. The first donation gets them a badge and a video message of thanks. When they hit £25 of donations, they get another badge. For each anniversary of signing up there’s more recognition. They can even share their badges on social media.

We can track who has installed their donor card, so clients can assess just how much impact the app is having on lifetime values.

As with all our core product development the supporter app is free for EPR Touch clients.

There’s a short video explaining all the features on our website which you can watch here.

If you want to find out how it could work for you, drop us an email at info@eproductive.com.