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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

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Year-to-Date Donations, Donor Retention Rates Down, Report Finds
AFP and Urban Institute

December, 2017

Based on data from charities and donor software firms, the Fundraising Effectiveness Project's Quarterly Fundraising Report (5 pages, PDF) found that year-to-date giving through September 30 totaled nearly $4.7 billion, down 4 percent from the same period in 2016, and that the overall donor retention rate was 33 percent, down 1.9 percent on a year-over-year basis. The report also found that the total number of donors through September was down 5 percent from last year, the number of new donors was down 14 percent, and the repeat donor retention rate, which excludes donors who gave to charity for the first time in 2016, was at its lowest level in five years, at 45 percent.

The new donor retention rate also fell to a five-year-low of 17.6 percent, from a five-year-high of 23.2 percent in 2016, continuing a worrisome downward trend. And while the number of donations of less than $250 and those between $250 and $1,000 were up 6.9 percent and 20.1 percent, major gifts of more than $1,000 declined 8 percent on a year-over-year basis. The report suggests that the increase in smaller donations likely reflects the response to multiple natural disasters during the third quarter.

"The Fundraising Effectiveness Project Releases Third Quarter Benchmark Report for Nonprofit Fundraisers." Fundraising Effectiveness Project Press Release 11/16/2017."Fundraising Effectiveness Project Quarterly Fundraising Report." Fundraising Effectiveness Project Report 11/16/2017.

 


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