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Gratavid Aims to Increase Donor Retention for Nonprofits


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by Jessica Miller

A local self-service platform for non-profit organizations aims to help charities increase donor retention rates through personalized videos delivered via text message.

“The top two reasons donors leave are that they feel organizations are asking too much and not closing the loop on the impact of their previous donation, and that organizations don’t communicate their impact well enough,” Gratavid CEO Will Trapp says. “Gratavid is helping them overcome both of these challenges.”

Donor retention is a key element of prosperity for nonprofits and far less expensive than attracting new donors, according to the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP), a non-profit growth movement sponsored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). The donor retention rate, or the percentage of donors who give one year and then give again the following year,is falling annually, however. The overall retention rate for charities during the first half of 2019 was only about 25 percent.

Trapp, who is also the director of marketing tech at the Springdale marketing and advertising firm Saatch & Saatchi X, saw a need for personal and prompt acknowledgment of charitable gifts. When a friend shared with him the idea of sending a personal “thank you” card through e-mail, he decided to run with it.

“It’s been fun to see how it has evolved from the original idea,” he says.

A 2018 survey presented by the research-based fundraising consulting firm Cygnus Applied Research, Inc. found that while 93 percent of donors said they would definitely or probably give to an organization again after receiving a prompt acknowledgment followed by a detailed report of their gift’s impact, 94 percent of donors rarely received a call from the organization unless it was for a solicitation.

Trapp says Gratavid’s video text feature addresses the problem at its core, helping nonprofit organizations thank existing donors, communicate their organization’s impact and raise donor retention.

“I think the ability to text someone to upload a video is pretty slick,” he says. “You can send a text to someone across the county, and then they click one button and record a video that is automatically saved in their Gratavid account.”

The user then has the ability to add the organization’s branding to the video by designing a landing page, create a call-to-action button such as a link to make a donation, and send the video to thousands of contacts in one click.

Trapp says Gratavid’s mission is to increase the total amount given to charitable organizations in the world, and by identifying the problems non-profits face and making it easy to create and share personalized videos beautifully through text or e-mail, its donor stewardship technology has begun to tackle its mission. Since its launch in July, Gratavid has tested and adjusted to its market’s needs and seen more users on its website each week.

Users can set up a demonstration on Gratavid’s website,, and take advantage of features such as analytics and customer relationship management tools as well as share their personalized videos on social media.

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