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Focusing on Donor Behavior: Better Donor Retention & Alumni Engagement Heather Albrecht, CFRE Vice-President and Consultant.

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Presentation on theme: "Focusing on Donor Behavior: Better Donor Retention & Alumni Engagement Heather Albrecht, CFRE Vice-President and Consultant."— Presentation transcript:

1 Focusing on Donor Behavior: Better Donor Retention & Alumni Engagement Heather Albrecht, CFRE Vice-President and Consultant

2 Does work feel like this?

3 Or maybe work feels like this?

4 Donor Behavior and Annual Giving Efforts… HHHHmmm… Can you look at your program and ask… Are you a revenue driven program or a strategy driven program? Are you using the wrong items to determined your programs success? Does the adage “This is how we have always done it” prevail most days?

5 Where are you Today? Understanding your universe of prospects – audit constituent groups (alumni, parents, friends, members) – understand living vs. solicitable (callable) vs. do not solicit vs. lost – evaluate the gaps in counts; strategies to close those gaps

6 Where you at Today? Improving the integrity of your prospect data – more investment in research (NCOA, Telephone Append, intermediate levels of research like Alumni Finder and wireless ID) – careful consideration of Do Not Solicit list – invite prospects at every turn to share updated information

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9 What does this mean? Have a dual focus strategy – NOT just revenue – NOT just participation Annual giving programs are about changing people’s behavior and getting them to think philanthropically about your organization. Gifts are an outcome of having done this successfully.

10 What’s your “Miracle”? What do you have in place for attrition and retention of your existing donors? Most organizations focus on acquiring new donors. They depend (and sometimes just expect) the donor to given again the following year.

11 The “Leaky Bucket”

12 Participation rates & Donor Retention Participation rates for both public and private continue to remain flat year over year –Calling as many if not 100% of recent donors in the fall, including parents allows programs to make refusal calls in spring decreasing the leaky bucket The private schools we work with see an average participation rate (overall) seven percentage points higher than their public counterparts

13 Average Gifts & Donor Retention Average gifts continue to increase year over year 3-5% –Loyal donors are willing to give twice every year and are asked for an upgrade twice a year –More programs creating $1,000+ leadership societies and marketing to them –Programs releasing prospects that DO’s will not reach in the spring to phonathon to make sure a connection is made

14 Rule of Thumb Since it costs more to acquire a new donor than to retain an existing one, focus on retention by keeping the donors you have. When this is done - revenue AND donor count can increase. Avoid the leaky bucket!

15 Traditional Giving Pyramid

16 “New” Giving Pyramid

17 Let the Stats do the Talking…

18 Why Donor Retention & Loyalty? Focus on Donor Loyalty – Loyalty = Retention=Loyalty – Plug the “Leaky Bucket” Improve fundraising results – Create Benchmarking standards & Best Practices – More donors = More revenue Shows program performance and efficiency – Assists with creating and justify budgets – Identify challenges and opportunities

19 Why Donor Retention & Loyalty? Track donor trends and giving habits – Popular giving levels – Donor attrition – Use data and numbers for decisions and NOT anecdotal information (AMEN!) Develop a long term strategy NOT short term

20 An Example – 2010 vs 2011 Trend in Dollars Raised = + 9.4% ($12,898) $136,978 dollars in 2010 $149,876 dollars in 2011 Trend in Donors = -4% ( 39 donors) 952 donors in 2010 (21%) 913 donors in 2011 (%)

21 GOAL: Increased Donor Retention * Adding 75 prospects to the file each year (i.e. graduation, transfers, events, etc.) CurrentYear 1Year 2Year 3 Current Total Base 4,750 Current Solicitable Base 4,3164,3914,4664,541 Current Participation 21%24%27%30% # Donors 9131,0541,2061,362 Increase in donors 15%14%13% 100% Renewal Rate Increase in donors 35%34%33% 80% Renewal Rate Increase in donors 55%54%53% 60% Renewal Rate

22 Year 1 – Move by 3%

23 Year 2 – Move another 3%

24 Year 3 – Move last 3%

25 How do I apply this? DON’T… Group all of your LYBUNTS/Renewals donors Group all of your SYBUNTS/Lapsed donors Over segment your populations

26 How do I apply this? DO… Change your paradigms – TEST- TEST-TEST! Hold your giving efforts to higher standards Use the data you have and track the results Create your own “miracle”

27 Incorporating Scripts and Letters Words that focus on participation… “Many other alumni like yourself are the reason CCS exists. Your gift to the CCS Annual Fund supports two of our most critical initiatives: undergraduate student scholarships and the Community Arts Partnerships program. By making your first gift to CCS, you will make the next generation’s education possible.”

28 Incorporating Scripts and Letters Intro’s and Rapport for Calls – “Good evening, Mr. Johnson. I am calling tonight to thank you so much for your past giving to the College for Creative Studies and to talk about our current campaign. I can see here that you have been involved with us for the past 6 years. We can’t thank you enough for your support!” Determine when to ask for an upgrade or not Starting Ask levels

29 Guide to Donor Retention & Suggestions for Segmentation

30 Donor Retention Report – Example

31 Close Up Example

32 And if all else fails…

33 Questions? Thanks for your time!

34 Contact Information: Heather Albrecht, CFRE (800) ext Kirkwood North Road SW Cedar Rapids, IA


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