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They are not your donors … you are one of their charities

Bluefrog Fundraising’s Mark Phillips presented this slide at the recent AFP international fundraising conference.

The slide was based on the simple but obvious finding apparent in every single research exercise that they undertake – donors tend to have a portfolio of charities they support.

Consider the 2018 Pareto Benchmarking Report. The statistics show that Australian donors support more than one charity too.

Cash donors, on average, support up to four charities. Regular givers support up to two charities. What that means is that you ‘share’ your donors with a lot of other charities.

If you fail to show your donor that your organisation is the best way to meet their aspirations – and you don’t look too different to the next charity – then your donor won’t be particularly committed. And they’ll easily switch their giving.

That’s why fundraisers in high performing charities are making intentional efforts to understand and deliver what their donors want and need. They know that meeting donor service expectations – consistently – can have a significant and positive influence on loyalty.

In return, their donors are donating back to their causes in exponential measures. As famed direct mail fundraiser Stephen Pidgeon noted:

“It is the fundraiser’s job, your only job, to make the supporter feel good about supporting your charity. You have to love your donors. The money will follow.”

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