The latest report by the Fundraising Effectiveness Project finds that U.S. donors’ “stickiness” has loosened.
For every 100 donors charities gained in 2014, compared with a year earlier, they lost 103 through attrition, for a net loss in donors of 3%, according to the report.
And for every $100 nonprofits brought in last year, they lost $95 as previous donors stopped giving or gave less, for a net gain of 5%.
The Fundraising Effectiveness Project was set up by the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute and the Association of Fundraising Professionals to conduct research on fundraising effectiveness and help nonprofits bolster their money-gathering efforts.
The project’s 2015 report was based on 8,025 responses for 2013–2014 from U.S. nonprofit organizations. These responses reflect a total amount raised of $6.7 billion, for an average of $833,475 raised per group.
The report found that growth-in-giving performance varied according a charity’s size, based on total amount raised:
- $500,000 or more raised resulted in an average 10.4% rate of growth
- $100,000 to $500,000: average 3.1% rate of growth
- Less than $100,000: average loss of 7.8%
New gifts and donors accounted for the biggest growth in gift dollars and donors, a pattern most pronounced in groups with the highest growth-in-giving ratios.
On the other end of the spectrum, the greatest losses in gift dollars stemmed from repeat and downgraded gifts, particularly to charities with the lowest growth-in-giving ratios.