Donor Churn

Laura and I at the Champions for Children event supporting Child and Family Resources last week.

It’s event season, and I’ve sat in more than a few ballrooms the last couple of weeks in awe of our community’s generosity for a wide range of causes.  While special events aren’t my favorite fundraising strategy, there is something pretty powerful about a big group of people coming together to champion something they care about.  It’s pretty inspiring.  And can be a lot of fun.

However, as I watch all these people raising their paddles, bidding on auction items and filling out gift envelopes, I can’t help but wonder, “How many of these folks will continue their giving beyond this event?  Or is this it — one and done?”

It’s called donor churn.

Donor churn is the percentage of your donors who choose not to donate again.

It’s a number that most organizations aren’t paying attention to, but something that is getting more and more attention by fundraising professionals.  Do you know your organization’s rate of donor churn?

Check out this interesting post with a link to a cool “donor churn calculator.”  You can plug in numbers and figure out this important metric for your organization.

Laura and I really LOVE this kind of data.  We believe that if you can measure it, you can improve it.  If you don’t know what your donor churn rate is, how will you know if your efforts to stop the hemorrhaging of donors is working?

What are YOU doing to keep your donors?  We’d love to hear your best ideas and strategies.  We’ll be discussing donor retention at an upcoming Fundraisers’ Forum, so stay tuned ….

Meanwhile, summer is coming!  Stay cool!