Converting New Donors into Recurring Donors

Erin Reeve | | August 21, 2018

Converting new donors into recurring donors means turning a one-time payment into constant income. Hence, it follows the subscription model, which has become increasingly popular in the 21st century with the evolution of technology (2). Just like the subscription model, recurring donations can have a positive financial impact on your association. In this article, we’ll review three key tips for converting new donors into recurring donors, and how ClearVantage Association Management Software can help you implement these best practices. 

Tip #1: Be Grateful

Firstly, give thanks to new donors! There are numerous ways to show your appreciation. Though there are many ways to give thanks, some ideas include

  • Creating a stewardship section on your webpage.
  • Giving them a shout out in your newsletter.
  • Hosting a cultivation event.
  • Sending welcome packets, personalized emails, and/or handwritten notes.

How CV Can Help

  • Stewardship Page: If you use CV Connect CMS, you can create webpages using templates within your chosen theme.
  • Shoutouts in Newsletters: If you use CV Online, you can easily create email newsletters by selecting one of our pre-created templates - or creating one from scratch using our drag-and-drop email editor (no knowledge of HTML required). Saving templates will allow you to easily update the shout out section each month so that you can feature new donors with each newsletter.
  • Hosting Events: The easiest way to create an event in ClearVantage is to copy a pre-created event and use it as a template. The event setup section in ClearVantage will allow you to easily create a webpage directly in ClearVantage, and it will accompany the event.
  • Welcome Packets: If you plan on mailing welcome packets and/or sending personalized thank you letters, you can use CV to create address labels for printing. You’ll find a report that you can easily download and utilize in Information Central.

Tip #2: Targeted Marketing

Secondly, keep donors informed about programs that they care about by sending targeted email communications and/or newsletters.

How CV Can Help: If you use CV Connect, donors can update their interests and preferences via their online member portal. All changes will be tracked back to ClearVantage in real-time, where you can set up predefined, target lists that will automatically update as these preferences change.

Tip #3: Get Feedback!

It’s no secret that asking for feedback makes people feel valued. It helps you to understand their thoughts, feelings, and preferences. Similarly, asking donors for feedback and implementing solutions and/or programs that appeal to them will likely result in donor loyalty.

How CV Can Help: Using ClearVantage, you can create and send surveys directly from the system. Check out this video tutorial to learn how to create your own survey.

Moral of the Story

Making donors feel valued and heard can help you build stronger relationships with donors, which can, in turn, convert what would be one-time donors into recurring donors. You should use this article as a building block to help you craft a strategy that works specifically for your association.


  1. https://www.networkforgood.com/nonprofitblog/donor-experience-converting-new-donors-to-recurring-donors/
  2. https://www.ariasystems.com/blog/the-history-of-recurring-revenue/
  3. https://www.classy.org/blog/15-creative-ways-to-thank-donors/

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