First face-to-face attrition survey reports results

Research for the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) has found that average levels of attrition have improved across both street and door-to-door fundraising activity from 2004 to 2006.
The results from the first survey to example donor retention behaviour amongst charities that have undertaken street or door-to-door ‘face-to-face’ donor recruitment campaigns will be presented today at a ‘Focus On F2F’ session at the Institute of Fundraising National Convention in London.
Average attrition rates, based on actual payments received by charities, have been calculated for the first time, and benchmarks have now been established for street and door-to-door campaigns run in 2004 and 2006.
Over 30 charities took part in the PFRA Attrition Survey 2008. Results have been anonomised by Mick Aldridge, CEO of the PFRA, and analysed by Morag Fleming, Head of Fundraising at the charity Quarriers and Rupert Tappin, MD of professional fundraising organisation Future Fundraising.
The survey examined the pattern of regular payments from over 377,000 donors reported by the charities taking part in this survey, amounting to a total income received of £24.38 million.
Fleming and Tappin will demonstrate at the session how attrition is affected by key variables such as the type of charity, the level of the ask of the gift, the region of recruitment throughout the UK, and the brand awareness of the charity.
The survey found that London and South East England achieved the strongest set of retention figures across all campaigns. Environmental causes appear to have the strongest levels of retention; on the street, social welfare and disability charities retain a higher proportion of their donors than overseas development charities.
Significantly, the brand awareness of a charity has little impact on overall levels of attrition.
The survey confirms that there is typically a ‘spike’ in cancellation rates on the first anniversary of a donor’s gift.
“These fascinating findings from the survey show us that, even at these very early stages, by simply beginning to look at factors that affect short, medium and long-term regular giving, we have seen an improvement in attrition from 2004 to 2006”, said Rupert Tappin. “With continued monitoring & improved management of campaigns, where charities work in true partnership with both their providers, and their donors, we can achieve so much more”.
Mick Aldridge, CEO of the PFRA, was ‘delighted’ with the survey results. He said: “The [PFRA] has been committed to transparency and integrity since its conception and this is yet another example of the success of collective working among the membership providing an invaluable benchmarking tool for the whole sector.”
All organisations that took part in the survey will receive a copy of the summary report, to be produced by Fleming and Tappin in August 2008.
The ‘Focus On F2F’ seminar will take place at the Institute of Fundraising National Convention today at 11.15 in the Park Suite.
Alternatively, interested parties can contact Morag Fleming, or Rupert Tappin to request a copy of the findings from the survey via email.
Each participating individual organisation could further request of Mick Aldridge, on a strictly confidential basis, their exact position within the anonomised, benchmarked data.