4 fundraising facts that should scare you

I hate to give you bad news, but here’s some, from The Nonprofit Marketing Blog, at 4 Spooky, Scary Fundraising:

  1. 3 out of 4 first-time donors won’t donate again to your organization. Actually, it’s worse than that, industry-wide. Retention of new donors is around 19%. Low retention kills fundraising programs! Make it a priority to keep donors by thanking them, reporting back on their giving, and not going silent on them for months at a time.
  2. Online fundraising revenue increased by only 1% last year, down from 23% growth the year before. The goose that laid the golden eggs is delivering much smaller eggs! You can’t count on doing well online just by being there. You have to be just as excellent (maybe more so!) than you must be in traditional media.
  3. Every Facebook post reaches only 4% of your page’s fans. You can’t count on Facebook to get your message out to “everybody.” It’s a useful tool, but just one of many if you want to connect with donors.
  4. Mobile users complete a donation on a fundraising page at a rate of 9%, compared with 21% for desktop users. Yikes. Some of that difference may be just the nature of the beast. But I suspect part of it is the many, many online donation forms that just don’t work for mobile users. Make sure you serve both!

Even small improvements to these statistics can make life much better for your fundraising program.


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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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