Recent performance trends confirm that nonprofits are acquiring fewer donors than ever before and retaining less of the donors they acquire. Lackluster response rates in the low single digits continue to plague nonprofits' acquisition programs, while abysmal new donor retention rates remain in the mid-twenties. Nonprofits need new donors far more than new donors need nonprofits.
Inspired by our industry’s fundraising benchmark reports, Merkle RMG has published our first Nonprofit Donation Processing Benchmark Report. This report is a quarterly in-depth review of donation processing data to give nonprofits a view into the transactional side of fundraising.
Yes, “why are nonprofits losing half of their donors?” is an important question that fundraisers need to reflect upon. But it’s not the only question they should be asking themselves, and certainly not the most important.
Yesterday, an article I wrote discussing the value of donor feedback was published on The Grow Report. I know for months I’ve been talking about the value of donor feedback, but this article sums it up nicely.
We’ve been promoting the first phase of Rapport services to our clients — solutions focused mostly on undeliverable mail and our ability to help organizations minimize mail that doesn’t reach its intended recipient and maximize the results of their fundraising campaigns.
As an industry, we are sitting on the precipice of momentous change. I am hoping that nonprofits see this as an opportunity to transform their current approach to donor cultivation, and begin leveraging and utilizing the resources that have always been at their fingertips. Merkle RMG has taken its first step to begin its own transformation with the launch of Rapport last month. Rapport is a suite of strategic solutions that focus on building deeper and stronger relationships between a nonprofit and its donors to improve donor retention and lifetime value.
The reason Merkle RMG is critical is because we are the eyes and ears for a nonprofit. Think about it — we are the first to engage with a donor. Whether it is processing a donation, flagging a piece of comment mail, responding to an email, or answering a phone call — we are first to react to a donor’s behavior.
We polled a number of our nonprofit clients earlier this month to take their temperature on the year-end giving situation. While these results are by no means statistically significant, anecdotally they support what we all believe (and want) to be true.