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Retention is end-game, but don’t leave acquisition behind

Nhu Te
4 min read
Feb 8, 2024 9:30:00 AM

067: Retention is end-game, but don’t leave acquisition behind


Taylor Swift won a Grammy for album of the year and seized the spotlight by announcing the release of her new album. On top of that, she'll likely make an appearance when the Chiefs battle it out with the 49ers at Super Bowl LVIII.

While your organization likely isn’t a mega pop star, there are a few things it can learn from Taylor's marketing approach: relevance, relatability, and reliability.

Swift has a way of connecting with her supporters, and this includes her loyal super fans and the ones that she continues to draw in over time. Bringing this back to nonprofits and associations, it’s important to find that sweet spot between acquisition and retention to remain sustainable.

As you consider your marketing plan for the year ahead, how are you factoring in the needs and desires of your supporters? I’ve got some resources that might help

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Snackable snippets 

A type of campaign to boost donations 📖
What happens when someone who has an intention of giving… abandons their donation mid-way through? Typically, it's due to limited knowledge or distractions.

As you plan out your ad campaign for these potential supporters, let us help you build copy that evokes empathy and activation. Chances are they just need a little extra encouragement.

NextAfter just came out with their guide to donor acquisition. While nonprofit organizations often focus heavily on retention, it's equally important to allocate resources to acquisition. After all, without new supporters, there wouldn't be many to retain.

The particularly valuable part (IMO) is the section on email acquisition. Email is the largest driver of online revenue, so I recommend grabbing your notepad and jotting down the tactics shared by NextAfter for growing your email file.

Email drives conversions, according to a new report 📖
Marketers have to navigate an abundance of digital channels, and the list continues to grow: retail media networks, affiliate marketing, and closed messaging apps. Yet, email still reigns supreme.

New research from Marigold finds that email drives the highest conversion compared to other channels like social media, SMS, or banner ads. However, guidelines will continue to change, so stay on top of them to prevent your email from hitting the spam folder.

Group membership impacts volunteering and giving 📖
In a continuation from the Do Good Institute and Generosity Commission, new research finds that people will likely give if they have volunteered with your organization in the past.

This leads to great news for associations and community organizations: Group membership significantly increases the odds of someone volunteering and donating.

How to tell your nonprofit’s story to evoke empathy 📖
We both know that acquisition is more than just putting out campaigns into the universe. That’s why I wanted to resurface this conversation between Noah and Julia Campbell, master storyteller and nonprofit digital marketing guru.

She wants to change the way nonprofits are perceived and believes that there’s a way to foster empathy, not sympathy. Stories are your superpower, and they “raise more money, more awareness, more reach and engagement than any other form of content.”


In the news

DoorDash is making an ambitious play to engage viewers on Super Bowl: Not only will people be able to find almost every item advertised during the big game, but one lucky winner will be prized with the entire line-up.

Seizing the opportunity to fill any last-minute delivery need this Sunday, DoorDash is also positioning itself to be the preferred delivery service for this broad niche of consumers.


In the hours leading up to the Grammy’s, anyone on Taylor Swift’s website encountered a 14-word error message.

This led Swifties down a rabbit hole of possibilities: a simple tech error, a crash from too many visitors, a secret message from Taylor herself? Ultimately, it all came to light when Taylor won album of the year and commemorated the moment by announcing the release of her next album: “The Tortured Poets Department.”

For your inspiration folder

People want to feel seen and heard, which is why more and more are increasingly choosing to support brands and organizations based on their DEI values. It’s becoming an expectation, as 81% of consumers purchase products or services from brands that align with their own.

How inclusive is your marketing strategy and are you representing all the different segments that support you? If you don’t know where to start, there are some useful pointers in this article in AdWeek.


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