Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Research suggests that donors will consolidate their giving

The guys from bluefrog have done some further research into the attitude of donors during the economic crisis. After interviewing 2000 donors, they found while donors are committed to giving to the charities they already support almost 40% of the same group surveyed are less likely to give to new charities.

Does this mean that charities should not look at acquiring new donors? Not at all. Acquisition is an investment – and a good one. Charity income over the past ten years shows that those organisations that have invested in acquisition have been able to increase their impact. It’s been said time and time again that looking after your current donors is key and making sure that any acquisition strategy you embark on is supported by a strong Supporter relationship management programme.

It may not mean lessening the recruitment you are doing, but it certainly does mean being smarter about how and who you recruit. In his blog Mark suggests that recruiting younger donors, on the street, may make even more sense at this time.

This may in fact be true, but I would dig a little deeper into your database to get a sense of who specifically we should be targeting at this point time. Not based on our gut feeling or intuition but based on which donor groups have performed best for us in the past and how we recruited them.


  • Looking at your historical acquisition efforts. Not just the initial injection of new donors, average gift or cost per acquisition – but factor in subsequent giving and costs of donors by various sources. This will allow you to get a true sense of a donors worth over time, specifically their VTD (value to date). This will certainly help you make decisions about which channels might be suitable for your organization. This may not be easy to do but in the current climate will be incredibly powerful information for you to be armed with.

  • Some donor profile analysis looking at the behavioural analysis of your best donors – whether that’s monthly/regular donors or onetime cash donors – overlaid with some basic geo-demographic profiling (where they live, age etc) that enables you to look at who really is giving to you . Again this will enable you to look at channels that will allow you to target like for like donors based on who you already have on file that has historically performed well in terms of their overall value to date.

The team at bluefrog will continue with the survey each quarter over the next 12 months. You can check for updates via the
bluefrog website or by checking out this Marks blog.

For more details click here to see Mark’s blog

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