The Grim News About Your Fundraising Strategy
I am usually the voice of cheer and optimism. But today I have to share some pretty bad news with you.
And I hope (expect!) that it will be a serious wake up call to you, your staff and your board.
AFP (the Association of Fundraising Professionals) has just published its biannual “Fundraising Effectiveness Survey.”
It’s pretty scary. This report measures how well we are doing our job.
This study tells us how well we are keeping our current donors.
It measures the new donors and new money that nonprofits are bringing in against the donors we are losing.
Donor acquisition vs. donor attrition.
The question is: how much new money is coming in the doors and how much easy renewable money is going out the doors?
What’s the “churn” in our donor files?
Here’s the sad news: our net gain/loss was simply a breakeven.
- “The annual survey indicates that nonprofits are losing nearly as many donors and gifts as they gain each year.
We are losing as much money as we are gaining.
- “Every $100 gained in 2011 was offset by $100 in losses through gift attrition — a net gain of $0.
So we are not going anywhere.
For every 100 donors gained last year – we lost 107 donors.
- “Every 100 donors gained in 2011 was offset by 107 in lost donors through attrition — a net gain of -7.
Overall, 59% of donors in 2009 DID NOT renew.
- “Overall donor attrition in 2010 was 59% — that is, 59% of 2009 donors did not give again to participating nonprofits in 2010.
Renewing old money – current donors – is so very much easier than finding the new donors.
Let’s have some more “donor love!”
Here’s my 10 point plan for you to cure this grim situation:
- Create a “Donor Communication Program.” See my post: How a Donor Communication Program Keeps Donors Giving and Giving.
- Create a “friendmaking” committee of board members.
- Hold special events for your donors.
- Get your board members to make prompt thank you calls to donors.
- Be systematic: Track your new donor and renewing donor stats carefully.
- Create a donor communications calendar – month by month.
- Get marketing and design help so you can be really creative in the way you say thank you.
- Use lots of channels: including personal visits, phone calls, emails, donor thank you events etc.
- Get your tone right: friendly not lofty.
- Let your donors know how you spent their money AND what you achieved with their money.
What do YOU think of these grim numbers about the state of our fundrraising today?
And what are YOU doing about it? Are you implementing any “donor love” strategies like I’ve listed above?
Share them with a comment below!
And also be on the lookout for our November INSIDERS lineup of cutting-edge webinars with the best pundits in our business – when we are going to tackle “How to Raise More From our Current Donors.”