Donor Lifetime Value & Relationship-Based Fundraising
The Fundraising Effectiveness Project’s 2017 survey report paints a dismal picture of retention in the current landscape. The current average donor retention rate is 45%, and for every 100 donors gained in 2016, there were 99 lost through attrition. The largest growth in gift dollars and donors came from new gifts and donors, a category which is offset by the substantial costs of acquisition. Clearly, we need a radical recontextualization of the ways we analyze our fundraising efforts. In order to combat donor attrition, we need to identify and change the common behaviors through which we unknowingly perpetuate the cycle. What is required is a fundamental shift away from segmented, campaign-centric analysis and towards a holistic, Donor Lifetime Value (DLV) model.