Donor retention and acquisition. . . sexy topics, right?!
They should be.
I find organizations that pay close attention to their retention and acquisition rates are much better at creating a “donor-centered” experience, raise more money from individuals AND their board becomes involved in the donor stewardship experience.
In September I read this in an email I received from fundraising guru Jerald Panas: He was quoting his colleagues from Allegiant Direct. “In a recent AFP presentation, only 1 of 35 nonprofits knew their donor attrition rate! 34 nonprofit organizations were unaware that the base of their giving pyramid may be drastically shrinking. It is not uncommon for us to see nonprofits with donor attrition ranging from 60-70%.”
Jerry mentioned he sees it more often between 40-50%. And your retention rate is especially fragile for first-time donors.
I agree with Jerry when he says: Staff at nonprofit organizations have to have a better strategy for how to hold on to your donors.
Figuring out the percentages can be half the battle. So, my good friend Mark has helped me put together a step by step video to guide you through using Excel to figure out your percentages.
SPECIAL NOTE: You’ll want to watch the video using the two worksheets we’ve created for you. You can find the worksheets on the Downloadable materials section of the Free Resources on my website, or click the following links to download immediately:
Acquisition & Retention Rate Calculations
Step by Step Instructions Retention & Acquisition Rates
Here are 3 important steps to help you retain your donors:
1. Take the time to figure out these percentages.
2. Share the information with your board and staff.
3. Create a plan for Q1 of 2013 to re-engage some of the donors who have moved on. They cared enough to give once or more…find out why and invite them back.
And why do this?? Because it takes 4 times the resources to secure a new donor than to re-engage the ones who already know you. Work smarter, not harder.
If you'd like to learn more about other ways to have your donor data work for you, join me for the Charity How To Webinar Detonating Your Nonprofit Donor Data for Explosive Results on December 5.