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Donor retention is the key to successful fund raising at non-profits. It is essential to being cost effective. Acquiring new donors is very expensive.

So … what is your donor retention rate?

Over the last six years I have had the privilege of speaking to large gatherings of nonprofit professional fundraisers on an average of 2.5 times per month. At the beginning of each presentation, I typically ask the audience by a show of hands how many in the room know their donor retention rate.

Each time, very few hands go in the air.

I keep thinking that the percentage of people raising their hands will go up by at least a small percent each year, yet it remains a very dismal small percentage.

However, if I ask them any of the following questions, the answers are readily known:

  • What is your fundraising dollar goal for this year?
  • How much did you raise last year?
  • How many donors do you have?
  • How many new donors do you have in the last year?
  • What is your best campaign or appeal?

Why isn’t donor retention on this list?

Source: 6 Reasons Why Most Fundraisers Don’t Know Their Donor Retention Rate