I recently hosted a guest post by Jay Love on the great donor exodus. He covered how to determine how many donors you are keeping – and losing. Today, he’s back with another guest post to discuss WHY they leave. Please share this post, because understanding why donors quit is the first step to getting them to stay. The author, Jay Love, is the former CEO of eTapestry. He is currently CEO of Bloomerang and SVP of Avectra while serving on numerous local and national nonprofit boards.
By Jay Love
With the extreme importance of the topic my title introduces, you would think there would be a large amount of research and hundreds of articles about it. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
The cornerstone of support and funding of most charity causes around the world is a dedicated group of loyal supporters. For smaller charities, this may be less than 100 people including the board of directors. Larger charities rely on the support of thousands of multi-year supporters from various channels.
How in the world then could this phenomenon of “loyalty to a cause” not be studied as much, if not more so, than the fuel economy in vehicles or weather patterns in Antarctica? Should not every charity in the world know what causes sudden or the not so sudden departure of its loyal supporters and design methods or systems to alleviate those causes? My previous guest blog post for Katya outlined how even a small 10% improvement in donor retention could double the lifetime revenue stemming from your donors in your database. Therefore, the incentive should be there!
As I did in my previous post, I am going to compare research pulled from the commercial sector. In this case, we will look at why a commercial customer leaves. Are there parallels to the reasons why donors leave? Can the immense amount of research compiled by commercial business on this topic and more importantly the systems designed to reduce the likelihood of those reasons happening be copied in some manner? My answer is yes!
Notice the comparison of reasons in the Nonprofit Donor Loyalty Primer below. (Problems viewing this infographic? Go here.)