New Report Suggests Donor Loyalty Is Hard To Come By
(Feb. 20, 2006) While many donors claim they have “high loyalty” to the charities they support, even more possess attitudes that suggest they really are not that loyal, according to a new report by Cravers, Matthews, Smith & Company (CMS) and Prime Group.
The report, Donor Loyalty: The Holy Grail of Fundraising, looked at donors overall, as well as specific subgroups including “Pre-Boomer,” “Boomer” and “Post-Boomer,” as well as online and off-line donors. It found that 59 percent of respondents reported they had “high loyalty” to the causes and organizations they supported. However, based on respondents’ answers to questions about how they gave and monitored their giving, the report suggests that perhaps only one-third of donors truly are committed and loyal.
According to the survey, less than 40 percent of respondents considered themselves “pretty familiar” with the groups doing the most effective work on the issues they care about, and one-third find it to difficult to sort out those groups on the basis of effectiveness. In addition, less than 30 percent said they limited their giving to issues they follow closely. Most tellingly, only one-third of all donors agreed with the statement, “I like to feel that I’m a member of the groups I support, and not just a contributor.”
Based on the report’s data, only about one-third of all donors “show a propensity toward loyalty.” Another third show little interest in remaining loyal to the organization, while the remaining third lie somewhere in the middle.
Interestingly, the report revealed that online donors are the most engaged and loyal. More than 50 percent of them stated that they are “pretty familiar” with the groups they support, and almost 60 percent reported that they have asked someone else to make a contribution to a specific charity (far and away the highest percentage of any group of donors.). One of the report’s conclusions is that “online engagement—starting with volunteer an email address—is the most significant indication available to an organization that an individual is open to a relationship.”
About the Report
Donor Loyalty: The Holy Grail of Fundraising is the third white paper in a series based on an online survey of 2,333 American adults conducted in July 2005 by The DonorTrends Project, a collaboration of CMS and Prime Group.
CMS is a fundraising, donor recruitment, and issue-development agency founded in 1975 and based in Arlington, Va. Prime Group is a market research and consulting firm with offices in Washington, D.C., and Boston.
A full copy of the report is available here.