Admit it. Sometimes you feel discouraged and maybe even a little annoyed when a big charity shares their latest fundraising innovation. The reality is… they have a mega budget, multiple marketing agencies and a fundraising staff the size of a small army. You look at their custom website, mobile app and multi-channel marketing campaign and think – Never. Gonna. Happen.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike big charities. I appreciate that they test drive new ideas and then share the results. But it can feel like they’re driving the latest BMW and I’m trying to keep up in a Micra.
Yet despite their size, big charities and small charities are facing the same dilemma. Donor retention is terrible.
Research over the last 10 years has shown that donor attrition in the first year is about 50% for cash donors and 20-30% for regular givers. No matter the size of your organization, a small change to retention rates can give a substantial boost to both short term and long term income.
That’s why The Summit is such good news for small charities. The Summit will feature the latest research and tools to improve donor satisfaction and increase donor retention and participation rates. These are tools with measurable results that can be scaled to both large and small organizations.
I had a chat with Giles Pegram and he walked me through what we can expect.
The Summit is going to show us:
- How to craft and implement a donor satisfaction survey
- How to use the survey to pinpoint important improvements your organization can make
- Research showing the short & long-term financial value of improved donor satisfaction
- How to capture and use donor insights to improve individual donor satisfaction
- Psychological research showing what to say to donors leading up to an ask
For small charities, this model for Relationship Fundraising can be particularly effective. That’s because when it comes to donor retention and donor satisfaction, small charities have an advantage. It’s easier for a small charity to build relationships with their donors. And, relationships are what donors crave. In fact, I think small charities that take donor satisfaction seriously are going to see better retention rates and LTV than the big charities can ever hope for.
Now I’m sure there will be some high tech, big data tools that the big charities will use to address donor satisfaction. But all the critical elements will be easily scaled to a small charity.
So please… if you are a small charity serious about donor satisfaction, join me at the Summit. Come and introduce yourself. I love to share ideas and work out practical implementation and I’m excited to meet other small teams who are also focusing their efforts on donor satisfaction.
Denisa Casement CFRE
Head of Fundraising
Merchants Quay Ireland
Homeless & Drug Services
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