Focus on Donor Attrition and Improving Retention

Why Donors Leave*:
  • 5% thought charity did not need them
  • 8% received no information on how money was spent
  • 9% have no memory of supporting the organization
  • 13% were never thanked for their gift
  • 16% have passed away
  • 18% received poor communication from organization
  • 36% gave resources to agencies believed more deserving
  • 54% could no longer afford to give

Research shows that there is about a 2% chance of obtaining a gift from a new donor compared to a 60-70% chance of obtaining a gift from a current donor. Donor retention is one of the most important topics in fundraising and yet it is often financially supported the least. Your organization spends a large amount of resources on acquisition strategies for new donors.  So why are so many agencies not budgeting to spend resources to retain those donors?

Let’s break down some of these statistics. If 53% of donors leave due to an organization’s lack of communication - aside from the 16% who stop donating because of death - all of these reasons can be prevented with better communication. Thirteen percent of donors were never thanked for their donation.  Now is the time to look at your acknowledgement strategy and evaluate if there is anything your organization should be doing to make sure your donors feel appreciated.

By communicating with donors how they are your hero and how their gifts are being used to support the cause, you will improve your communication and retain those donors you’ve worked so hard to bring on the team.  Are you including stories with passion and how a donor’s investment has been used in your newsletters?  Focus on news that clearly communicates success, what the need is, and how a donor can help and get further involved. 

If you believe that you fall into any of these statistics, please talk to a member of the Alpha Dog Marketing Account Services Team to discuss ways to increase your retention. Timely, consistent and clear communication, combined with a strong call to action, is the key to retaining loyal donors.

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