When nearly three out of four donors do not give a second gift to a nonprofit, there is a serious problem. Right now, donor retention is at a dangerous low, and it is due to a lack of fundraiser communication.

Donors cite a number of reasons for not coming back, from not thinking the cause is worthy of their attention because no one reminded them of its importance to simply not being able to afford making another donation. Had a fundraiser communicated with the donor well, attrition could have been prevented. Fundraisers need to assess their supporters properly and then meet their needs based on what they find.

Here a five steps to preventing donor attrition:

1. Calculate your donor-retention rate and understand the problems that exist.

2. Audit your donor communications. Review your messages and make adjustments based upon feedback and results.

3. Try new ways to thank donors for their support. Brainstorm ways with your staff to reach donors in new and different ways.

4. Get (or re-examine) your systems for managing donor data. Use data to target various donors and to segment communications. Think of new systems to reach donors.

5. Ask your donors why they give to your organization. Find out what was behind the first gift to your organization. Survey and call your donors to see what motivates their giving.

Only when you find out why your supporters are invested in your cause can you truly motivate them to keep giving. Find their preferred method of communication—social media, direct mail, email—and use it to inspire their continual support of your cause.

See NonProfit Pro for more.