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20NTC Session Proposal

Finders, Keepers: The Art of Donor Retention


Donor retention rates across the industry are tragically low. You’ve spent time and money acquiring each and every donor, but are you taking the necessary steps to keep them?

While retention rates are generally lower for donors who give online, the digital space offers many tools to help you retain your donors. But are you taking full advantage of these opportunities to develop lifelong relationships with your donors?

This session will delve into the art of donor retention and explore common errors that result in donor attrition. You’ll walk away with tangible steps and ideas that you can take to improve your own retention rates.

Learning Outcomes

  • Avoid common pitfalls that hurt donor retention rates
  • Leverage technology to build donor relationships
  • Better understand and measure metrics to track churn and retention


Case Study


Laura Cole

Director of Account Services

Sanky Communications

Laura has been working with nonprofits as a digital fundraising and marketing strategist at Sanky Communications for nearly a decade. Areas of particular focus include integrated campaign strategy, digital acquisition and advertising, and fundraising program analytics. She has spoken at various DMA, NTEN, DMFA, and AFP events. Prior to joining Sanky, she worked on the marketing team for the Broadway musical Wicked. Laura holds a B.A. in History and English from Columbia University and an M.A. in Media Studies from The New School.

Paul Habig


Sanky Communications

Paul Habig is President of Sanky Communications, a marketing company that specializes in integrated fundraising, communications, and advocacy for nonprofits. Paul has twenty years of integrated fundraising, digital, direct mail and social advertising, web design, and email marketing experience. He has developed award-winning strategies and campaigns for more than 90 nonprofit organizations. Paul’s background in the nonprofit world also includes marketing and fundraising positions at diverse organizations such as the YMCA and CNEWA. He also ran his own Internet marketing business working with brands such as VitaminWater and SmartWater. He is an active member of the Greater New York Chapter of the AFP and serves as co-chair of the Web, Tech & Social Media track for Fundraising Day in New York, and also as a board member for the DMFA. He is an adjunct teacher at the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College and is a frequent speaker at DMA, DMA of Washington, NTEN, DMFA, and AFP workshops and conferences. During his spare time, he loves spending time with his daughter at the playground, music class, and reading new books together.

David Onate

Director, Marketing & Creative

African Wildlife Foundation

David Onate is Director of Marketing and Creative at the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), the leading conservation organization focusing solely on the continent of Africa. Since joining AWF from Discovery Communications in 2009, David has progressed through various roles to oversee organizational multi-channel marketing strategy, creative direction, and integrated fundraising.

David is an active member of the Direct Marketing Association and also volunteers time to help local arts and community-focused small business build effective web presences and grow digital strategies. Through creative solutions in multi-channel marketing, brand exploration, and embracing change, he strives to help organizations big and small stand out from the crowd to share their passion.

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March 13, 2019


10:30am – 11:45am



CFRE Credits

Approved - 1.25

Collaborative Notes

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Session Evaluation

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