On September 16th, the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) released the findings from their 2013 survey. For the first time in five years, charity respondents saw positive gains in giving, but still continued to lose donors faster than they gained them.
The 2013 Fundraising Effectiveness Project report summarizes data from 2,840 survey respondents covering year-to-year fundraising results for 2011-2012. The report shows that:
- Gains of $769 million in gifts from new, upgraded current, and previously lapsed donors were offset by losses of $735 million through reduced gifts and lapsed donors. This means that, while there was a positive $34 million net growth-in-giving, every $100 gained in 2012 was offset by $96 in losses through gift attrition. That is, 96 percent of gains in giving were offset by losses in giving.
- Gains of 866,000 in new and previously lapsed donors were offset by losses of 909,000 in lapsed donors. This means that there was a negative (44,000) growth-in-donors and every 100 donors gained in 2012 was offset by 105 in lost donors through attrition. That is, 105 percent of the donors gained were offset by lapsed donors.
- Growth-in-giving performance varies significantly according to organization size (based on total amount raised), with larger organizations performing much better than smaller ones:
- Organizations raising $500,000 or more had an average 16.6 percent net gain.
- Organizations raising $100,000 to $500,000 had an average net loss of -5.1 percent.
- Organizations in the under $100,000 groups had an average net loss of -13.5 percent.
- The largest growth in gift dollars/donors came from new gifts/donors, and the pattern was most pronounced in the organizations with the highest growth-in-giving ratios.
- The greatest losses in gift dollars came from lapsed new gifts, particularly in the organizations with the lowest and highest growth-in-giving ratios. The greatest losses in donors came from lapsed new donors in all growth-in-giving categories.
Click here to download the 2013 FEP report in PDF.
About the Fundraising Effectiveness Project
In 2006 the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute established the Fundraising Effectiveness Project to conduct research on fundraising effectiveness and help nonprofit organizations increase their fundraising results at a faster pace.
The project goal is to help nonprofit organizations measure, compare, and maximize their annual growth in giving.
7-year donor retention rate from 2004-05 (50%) to 2010-11 (41%) – Figure 2 in the Urban Institute’s “Donor Retention Matters” brief at http://www.urban.org/
The 39% donor retention rate for 2011-12 is the reciprocal of the median donor attrition (*) rate of 61% found on page 18 (“All donor losses”) in the 2013 Fundraising Effectiveness Report at http://www.afpnet.org/files/
Other figures in the infographic also come from the 2013 FEP report.
(*) The FEP core concept has been — and still is — that growth in giving is the net of gains minus losses (attrition). Thus, all the annual FEP reports so far have analyzed “attrition” rather than its reciprocal “retention.”
Please see the Donor Retention Supplement for information on donor retention at http://www.afpnet.org/files/ContentDocuments/FEP2011ReportSupplement-11-18-11.pdf