Podcast: Why Donor Retention Is Down

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Part 3 of oru Donor Retention series. Understanding the problem can lead us to the solution. Here are four of the most important causes of donor attrition:


  1. Increased competition — more organizations are asking.
  2. Donors are consolidating their giving — more money going to fewer organizations.
  3. Generational change: Boomers are rapidly replacing the WWII Generation as donors, and their needs are different — more difficult for fundraisers to meet.
  4. Professional dilution. Not enough experienced, well-trained professional fundraisers to meet the growing demand.

To listen, click here to download the audio file or visit the Fundraising Is Beautiful page here, where you’ll find several listening and subscription options.

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2 responses to “Podcast: Why Donor Retention Is Down”

  1. While there is truth to what you say. Most leaders or executives don’t even track retention. There is a focus on the money not the donor which creates for the donor the feeling of being an ATM. Their giving becomes random acts of kindness with no real connection with any organization. Events like Giving Tuesday promote random acts of kindness. It is not a bad thing but is still all about the money.
    Where there is little trust and no connection there is no renewal.
    Philanthropy professionals also feel like ATMs and is part of the reason they leave their positions after a short time. We are great at strategy and getting the money but inexperienced, in general, in authentic relationship building.
    We can use a new way of thinking about philanthropy management. Thank you for presenting the issues on a daily basis. It is important work.

  2. While there is truth to what you say. Most leaders or executives don’t even track retention. There is a focus on the money not the donor which creates for the donor the feeling of being an ATM. Their giving becomes random acts of kindness with no real connection with any organization. Events like Giving Tuesday promote random acts of kindness. It is not a bad thing but is still all about the money.
    Where there is little trust and no connection there is no renewal.
    Philanthropy professionals also feel like ATMs and is part of the reason they leave their positions after a short time. We are great at strategy and getting the money but inexperienced, in general, in authentic relationship building.
    We can use a new way of thinking about philanthropy management. Thank you for presenting the issues on a daily basis. It is important work.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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