When speaking to nonprofit professionals, I always give them this one piece of advice:
Make a donation to your own nonprofit, either online or via a check in the mail. Then see what happens.
Do you get an acknowledgement? A letter? An email? A phone call?
Or do you get a symphony of crickets?
A must-read report was recently released by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). The 2012 Fundraising Effectiveness Report discovered some sobering statistics for nonprofit fundraisers.
Gains of $1.1 billion in gifts from new, upgraded current, and previously lapsed donors were offset by losses of $1.1 billion through reduced gifts and lapsed donors.
This means that every $100 gained in 2011 was offset by $100 in losses through gift attrition. That is, 100% of gains in giving were offset by losses in giving.
The report also found that overall donor attrition in 2010 was 59%. This means that 59% of 2009 donors did not give again in 2010.
These statistics are depressing. Something is dramatically wrong in the nonprofit sector. Organizations are not cultivating and retaining donors.
In fact, donors are leaving organizations in droves, never to make a donation again to the same charity!
That’s the point behind Be Your Donor Day.
According to Network for Good:
Be Your Donor Day is a day dedicated to looking at nonprofit fundraising and outreach from the donor’s perspective. This day serves as a reminder for nonprofits to set aside time to review and improve their outreach and donation experience to ensure they are in touch with their donor’s perspective.
On October 24th, nonprofits should call their own phone numbers, try to make donations on their own sites and confirm what type of receipts and thank-yous they receive.
Be Your Donor Day is celebrated on the 4th Wednesday in October each year — just in time for year-end fundraising preparations. Having an optimized fundraising approach as well as an amazing donor experience can boost nonprofits’ fundraising results during the critical year-end fundraising season, and can result in more loyal donors who give more frequently.
Your task for today is simple: Experience your nonprofit’s giving process through the eyes of a donor. Make a phone call and try to donate, go online an examine the donation process, make a gift in the form of a check and see how long it takes to get a thank you letter.
Then make the necessary changes to ensure that your donors are not falling off the cliff. You’ll be happy you did.
Are you planning on celebrating Be Your Donor Day? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section or on the Facebook Wall. Thanks for reading!