Retention? Enough Already!
They can’t promise quantitative results, but they promise that if you only do these things your retention rates will go up, the sun will shine, you will get a raise and life will never be the same. Or not. Oh, and because there is no projection attached to these magical methods, don’t hold the person who sold you on it accountable — because your failure is not his or her fault. It’s yours because you didn’t send the email to the man over 55 while he was eating plums.
We knew this was coming
Let’s face it: We all want a healthy file, and we all want loyal donors. In fact, wouldn’t we all love a file full of baby boomers who act like their parents and grandparents when it comes to philanthropy? Oh, the “matures” — the World War II generation of donors that is loyal, trusting, focused and spreading the wealth around to a number of organizations like clockwork. Where did they go wrong in raising the donors of today?
Now, we have files that mainly comprise baby boomers who give less money to fewer organizations than matures. They (we) are an interesting group and behave exactly like Craver, Mathews, Smith & Co. told you they would in 1999, when we commissioned a study conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates titled “Toward 2000 and Beyond: Charitable and Social Change Giving in the New Millennium.” (Thank you, Roger Craver, for your insight in designing this study back in the day.)
The participants were donors to progressive nonprofits and charities, but the findings hold true for donors across the board: “While most donors to progressive nonprofits and charities are driven by very powerful motivations — because they truly want to advance a particular cause, help those in need, save lives, and feel that they’re making a difference — they are not simply going to give and hope for the best. Indeed, they are far from complacent about how the organizations that they support are going about the business of advocating for change, communicating their messages, and raising needed funds.”