Small Donors are Disappearing . . . and What You Can Do About It

One of the most disturbing trends in fundraising today is that small donors are disappearing.

I interviewed Roger Craver of the Agitator/Donor Voice Blog this week. (Roger is one of the direct mail/multi-channel gurus of our field, and I read the Agitator daily.)

Apparently, the sheer numbers of small donors are declining. And that’s across all demographics, ages and generations!

Certainly, this is a hugely disturbing trend  . . . because these donors are our major donors of the future. And our bequest donors of the future!

Here are my highlights and takeaways on my interview with Roger. If you’d like, you can see the full interview here on our Fired-Up Fundraising Facebook page.

Or watch below for my top highlights:


I’m sharing deep strategies for KEEPING your own smaller donors:

  • First, make sure the addresses in your CRM are up to date! (Remember, so many people change addresses now and you don’t want to lose any donors).
  • In addition, beef up three important fundraising programs/strategies:
    • Institute a monthly donor program (retention rate is sky-high).
    • Install a mid-level donor program to take care of your donors at the $500-$1000 range.
    • Add an auto-renew option on all your donation forms so donors can sign up for an annual gift that’s automatically renewed.
  • Meanwhile, work on the deeper issues of donor preference and donor identity:
    • Start developing info on your donors’ preferences in terms of how often they want to be communicated with.
    • Develop information on donor identity: why are your donors giving? Can you identify different motivations and use that data to create more tailored appeals?