The Four Pillars of the Donor Experience


By Lynn Wester

When I sat down to write The 4 Pillars of the Donor Experience a year ago, I wanted it to be a continuation of our thought work in The 4 Pillars of Donor Relations. But honestly, I wanted it to be a book that was read beyond donor relations circles and practitioners and instead shared across departments and read widely by the fundraising community.

Why? Because we have a huge problem facing our sustainability in nonprofits and that is donor retention. With first time donor retention rates hovering below 30% and overall donor retention less than 50% we are in danger of losing our donor bases. We see this in the fact that 95% of our gifts come from 5% of our donors, and in higher education the alumni giving rate is falling each and every year. My belief is that most of these declines can be attributed to our behavior and our insistence on ignoring the donor experience.

The donor experience is everyone’s responsibility and it requires much more than a thank you letter and an endowment report. It is a mindset. The four pillars-knowledge, strategy, culture, and emotion-can be applied in a wide variety of areas.

Read more about the Four Pillars of the Donor Experience at Donor Relations Guru.

About Lynne:

Lynne Wester is one of the most sought-after fundraising speakers in the world. Speaking is her passion and she loves sharing her knowledge with others. She has presented at regional conferences of 40, large international conferences of over 4,000, and everywhere in between. Lynne believes that donor relations is the key to unlocking fundraising success and that organizations must be as dedicated to the donor experience, or DX, as they are to the ask itself. Sometimes referred to as the Olivia Pope of fundraising, Lynne helps organizations when they need it the most – when crisis or opportunity arrive.

Register for the 19th Annual Not-for-Profit Leadership Summit

Join Donor Relations Guru, Lynne Wester, at the Xavier Cintas Center on April 16 as she leads us through two full workshops: The Four Pillars of Donor Relations & Don’t let your Board be Bored by Donor Relations. This event is presented by Association of Fundraising ProfessionalsBarnes Dennig, and the Leadership Council for Nonprofits.