February 11, 2013

Nonprofits: Focus on donor retention in 2013

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Takeaways from Blackbaud’s Charitable Giving Report

John HaydonBlackbaud’s just-published 2013 Charitable Giving Report shows that small nonprofits, with annual total fundraising of less than $1 million, grew their fundraising by 7.3 percent compared to 2011.

These small guys blew away the large nonprofits who only grew 0.3 percent!

Five key observations from the 2012 Charitable Giving Report:

  1. Overall giving grew less than 2 percent. A down economy continues to challenge fundraising efforts for all size organizations.
  2. Online giving grew 11 percent in 2012, particularly in the area of disaster recovery. Hurricane Sandy was one of the biggest.
  3. Online fundraising accounted for 7 percent of all donations in 2012, which was up from 2011. Online fundraising is still a small slice of the pie for most nonprofits.
  4. Small nonprofits grew the most for overall giving (7.3 percent), but medium organizations grew the most for online giving.
  5. Giving was flat throughout 2012, but spiked around Hurricane Sandy.

Key observations by sector

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Best sectors in online fundraising

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Education and public/society organizations grew their online fundraising the most in 2012 with an increase of more than 17 percent – the largest growth rate for the second consecutive year.

Three focus areas for 2013

If the trends over the past four years continue in 2013, charitable giving won’t grow significantly. This means focusing on donor retention and finding innovative ways to acquire new donors without wasting money is key.

Here’s a three-step action plan for success in 2013:

  1. Share accountability for fundraising results throughout the organization. Come up with creative ideas that give everyone an opportunity to take ownership for retaining donors in a way that feels natural, empowered, and uses each person’s unique talents.
  2. Leverage new fundraising technology. If your website sucks, start there. Then move on to developing smarter email marketing. Only then should you start thinking about that cool Facebook app.
  3. Create colossal content. Never forget that your “competition” is engaging your donors every day with emotionally compelling messages. At the same time, your donors are getting better at tuning out messages that are boring. This means you have to get better at grabbing and keeping your donor’s attention in innovative and remarkable ways.

What will you do in 2013 to retain more donors?

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John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

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