The fundraising retention crisis and how to beat it

Here’s a fairly disturbing picture of The State of Donor Retention in One Image from Bloomerang.

DonorRetentionBuckets

If your average donor retention is just 46%, your program is in trouble. You simply aren’t keeping enough of your donors. Chances are your file is static or even shrinking.

Fortunately, this chart also shows how you can escape the morass. Repeat donors retain at 60% — that is, donors who give two or more times per year zoom up to this high retention rate. Hence, the key job in fundraising is to get the second gift.

And I bet that 90% figure for monthly donors caught your attention. That tells us how important monthly giving is. Sure they have high annual value. But the big deal is their retention rate.

And organization with a high percentage of monthly donors is probably stable or growing.

So you can see what your job is: get your new donors to give again. And get as many donors as possible into a monthly giving program. That is the key to fundraising success.


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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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