Key metrics are summarized below:
Attrition rate – the percentage of donors lost over a given period – usually a year. We made the point earlier that it is important to look at rates of attrition for specific categories of donors or appeals rather than across the database as a whole
Gains/Losses – the number of new donors recruited and the number of those now considered lapsed will also be of interest. Organizations participating in the Fundraising Effectiveness project can now benchmark their performance against other organizations.
Donor Lifetime Value – Lifetime value can be used to shape the development program, but it can also be used to measure its success. As we noted in an earlier section it is now possible to measure the success of a campaign or program by its impact on longer term value.
Transaction Frequency – organizations can also measure loyalty by the frequency with which annual fund or ‘cash’ donors engage with the organization.
Donor Satisfaction/Commitment and Trust – These are the three big drivers of loyalty, satisfaction being the most significant. At a minimum a development program should therefoe monitor its progress in this area.
Exit Polling – In seeking to maximize retention nonprofits should also engage in regular exit polling of their lapsed supporters. Common problems can be identified and remedial action taken as appropriate.
Number (and category) of Complaints - Organizations may also monitor the number of problems that donors experience with their programs. Indeed, donors should be actively encouraged to complain where the organization has failed to meet their expectations. Research indicates that donors who complain and have their problems corrected are subsequently more loyal than those that never encountered a problem in the first place (Sargeant and Jay 2004)
Donor Loyalty Report To AFP
Retention of Door to Door Recruits
Tom Ahem and Simone Joyaux, Keep Your Donor : The Guide to Better Communications & Stronger Relationships, AFP Fund Development Series, John Wiley & Sons, 2008.
Joshua M. Birholz, Fundraising Analytics, John Wiley & Sons, 2008
Penelope Burke, Donor Centered Fundraising, Burk & Associates, Ltd./Cygnus Applied Research, 2003.
Ken Burnett, Relationship Fundraising: A Donor-Based Approach to the Business of Raising Money, 2nd Edition, Jossey-Bass, 2002.
Adrian Sargeant, Elaine Jay, Building Donor Loyalty: The Fundraiser's Guide to Increasing Lifetime Value, Jossey-Bass, 2004.
Sargeant A (1999) ‘Why Do Donors Stop Giving?, Professional Fundraising, September, pp12-14.
Sargeant A (2000) ‘Donor Overboard’, Philanthropy Matters, 10(1), pp6-7.
Sargeant A (2001) ‘Donor Motivations’, Giving USA 2001, AAFRC Trust for Philanthropy, pp54-7.
Sargeant A and Jay E (2002) ‘Steward Little’ Professional Fundraising, October, pp16-19.
Sargeant A (2005) ‘New Research Could Change How Committed Giving Is Viewed Forever’, Professional Fundraising, Feb, p14-15.
Sargeant A and Farthing P (2005) ‘Donor Commitment: What Is It? What Drives It and Why Does It Matter?’ Charity Times, March, pp20-24.
Sargeant A (2005) ‘Now We Know Commitment Does Drive Loyalty’, Professional Fundraising, October, p16.
Sargeant A (2001) ‘Using Donor Lifetime Value to Inform Fundraising Strategy’, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 12(1), pp25-38.
Sargeant A (2001) ‘Relationship Fundraising: How To Keep Donors Loyal’, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 12(2), pp177-192.
Sargeant A (2002) ‘Managing Donor Defection: Why Should Donors Stop Giving?’, New Directions For Philanthropic Fundraising, 32 (Summer), pp59-74.
Sargeant A and Jay E (2004) ‘Reasons For Lapse: The Case of Face-To-Face Donors’ International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 9(2), pp171-182.
Sargeant A and Woodliffe L (2005) ‘The Antecedents of Donor Commitment to Voluntary Organizations’ Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 16(1) pp61-78.
Sargeant A, Jay E and Lee S (2006) ‘Benchmarking Charity Performance: Returns From Direct Marketing In Fundraising,’ International Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing, 16 (1/2), pp77-94.
Sargeant A and Woodliffe L (2007) ‘Building Donor Loyalty: The Antecedents and Role of Commitment in the Context of Charity Giving,’ International Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing, 18(2), 47-68.