3 Easy Reports to Drive Donor Retention

As we have shared previously, donor retention is incredibly important to each and every nonprofit. In a previous post, we gave you six strategies to help you retain your donors.  

In this post, we are going to examine three common reports you can run in your donor CRM to help you identify donors you can engage with and drive better retention.

Review: What is donor retention?

As a quick recap, let’s make sure we are on the same page about what donor retention actually is. In the simplest terms, donor retention is the ratio of donors who give to your organization after their first initial donation.  

In DonorDock, we calculate retention rate on a year-over-year basis. The formula we use divides the number of repeat donors by the number of donors who gave last year.  

As a simple example, if you had 200 donors last year, and 100 of those donors gave again this year, the retention rate would be 50%.

Now that we are on the same page about what donor retention is, let’s talk about the reports that can help you improve it.


The LYBNT report stands for “Last Year But Not This” and indicates the list of donors who gave to your organization last year, but so far have not given this year. As you might imagine, this report can be a goldmine for increasing your donor retention.  

By its very nature, it shows you the people who would directly decrease your year-over-year retention if they choose not to give this year.

One way to use this report is as the basis for an appeal. Assign the donors on the list to different members on your team, so each team member can start personally engaging with the people on their list.  

You can also use it as the basis for an email marketing appeal. These donors have proven they care about your organization in the past, so email to communicate your mission and initiatives clearly and help them understand the impact of their investment in your cause.


Similar to the LYBNT report, the SYBNT stands for “Some Year But Not This”. As the name indicates, these are donors who have given in some other year, but not yet this year.  

Just like the LYBNT report, these donors have shown a concern for your cause in the past. Capture their attention again through a letter, email or phone call.  

Do your best to use your data to connect with them on a channel they prefer. Our eBook, “Mission: Engage” is loaded with information about creating donor personas and using them in your engagement and retention efforts.

First-Time Givers

A report of first-time givers this year will also target people who can directly improve your donor retention. These are donors who you can now put through your donor experience and onboard them to work toward receiving a second gift.  

We consider a second gift a very big deal as it indicates this person wants to continue to support your organization beyond their first donation.  

In fact, our Action Board will ensure you see these second gifts and provide suggestions on how to best engage with these donors.

Use this report to provide personal engagement to those first-time donors. Make sure they feel the love from your organization, they understand the impact their gift has created, and you keep their attention to warrant that second gift.

With these three simple reports, you can make a substantial impact on your donor retention.  

The good news is these three reports are ready-made in DonorDock and can be accessed with just a click.

If you are not already using a donor CRM, or are not happy with the tool you are using, try out DonorDock for free! It is the powerful, cost-effective, user-friendly donor CRM we built from the ground up to help you better engage with – and retain -  your donors.