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PFRA opens face-to-face donor attrition survey

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) has launched a survey to establish the impact of the recession on face-to-face donor attrition, following up on an initial survey undertaken last year that developed benchmarks for attrition.

This year’s survey focuses specifically on donor retention behaviour, and is aimed at charities and voluntary organisations that have undertaken street or door-to-door “face-to-face” donor recruitment campaigns between 2006 and 2008.

The original PFRA Attrition Survey was conceived and built last year by Morag Fleming, Head of Fundraising at the charity Quarriers and Rupert Tappin, MD of professional fundraising organisation Future Fundraising.


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This year the survey is being extended with charities from around the world being invited to take part. As a result, any charity that has undertaken street or door fundraising, worldwide, over the past 10 years can participate, regardless of whether they are PFRA members or not, can take part. Results of the survey will be made available free of charge to all participants, and will be presented at a seminar at this year’s Institute of Fundraising National Convention in July.

Professor Adrian Sargeant, University of Indianapolis, has helped improve this year’s survey methodology. He used last year’s survey results to analyse the impact of donor communications on attrition.

Last year’s survey gave charities for the first time a consistent set of benchmarks for the retention levels of donors recruited by street or door fundraising.

The PFRA Attrition Survey 2009 has been sent to every current charity member of the PFRA, and an online version has been created.

Responses to the survey are required by 11 June. Mick Aldridge, CEO of the PFRA, will anonomise each survey response, and pass them on to Fleming and Tappin for analysis.

Tappin acknowledges that the recession has had varying impacts on the level of attrition in regular giving to charities. He added: “It is our aspiration that this survey will for the first time ever model the impact of the current economic climate on regular giving attrition. This will allow us once again, as a sector, to find out how to best react to the situation in which we find ourselves, in order to maximise charitable income from this medium.”