It's easy to focus on how much you bring in through your fundraising efforts, but the acquisition and retention of donors are key to effective fundraising. To determine how effectively you acquire and retain supporters, analyze where they fall in your donor lifecycle.
Acquired donors are your relatively new supporters who gave their first gift — ever, or in a long time — during the current year. In the donor lifecycle, acquired donors gave:
Their first gift within the past 12 months
Any gift within the past 12 months, after more than five years since their previous gift
Tip: To analyze acquisition based on the current fiscal year instead of the past 12 months, use the Acquisition metrics in Fundraising, Analyze. For more information, see Donor Acquisition Analysis.
Now that you have their attention, promptly recognize these donors for their generosity with personalized thank you letters, phone calls, or welcome packages to help convert them to regular givers.
Retained donors are your engaged supporters who give year-over-year. In the donor lifecycle, retained donors gave within the past 12 months and less than 15 months since their previous gift. To keep these donors engaged, assign them to fundraisers who can provide regular interaction and chances for involvement.
Tip: To analyze retention based on the current and previous fiscal years instead of past 12 months, use the Retention metrics in Fundraising, Analyze. For more information, see Donor Retention Analysis.
Recaptured donors gave within the past 12 months, after more than 15 months since their previous gift. To help prevent a relapse, show your appreciation with a personalized hand-written thank you note and ask for details — through a friendly inquiry or short survey — about how to improve engagement.
Tip: To analyze recaptured donors based on the current fiscal year instead of past 12 months, use the Recapture metrics in Fundraising, Analyze. For more information, see Donor Recapture Analysis.
At-risk donors haven't given in 12-15 months. If a donor starts to lapse, review their giving history to determine whether infrequent giving is normal. To retain the donor, reach out with a friendly interaction to reconnect, and suggest a recurring gift for more regular giving.
Tip: To quickly view how many donors you manage as a fundraiser haven't given in over a year, select Overview in Work Center and review the At-risk total under Portfolio. For more information, see Fundraising Work Center Overview.
Lapsing donors haven't given in 15-24 months. To recapture a lapsing donor, review their giving history to see which current campaigns and appeals fits their interests and passions, and suggest a recurring gift for more regular giving.
Lapsed donors haven't given in two to five years. Review your relationship with them to determine why they stopped giving and decided whether to recapture them or mark them as inactive to focus on others.
Consider donor who haven't given in over five years as lost. To acquire these donors (again), treat them as new prospects, and promptly acknowledge new gifts with personal interactions and welcome packages. For more information, see Moves Management Best Practices.
Note: In Analyze, constituents who've never given or who last gave over five years ago have a lifecycle status of None found.
To help gauge supporter engagement, you can quickly analyze your donor acquisition, retention, and attrition statistics under Overview in Fundraising, Analyze.
To view — at a glance — where your constituents currently fall in the donor lifecycle, check the chart under Donors by lifecycle status. With this insight, you can quickly gauge the current engagement of your donors and how their acquisition and retention compares to attrition. To view and manage a list of constituents with a specific lifecycle status, select its wedge in the chart.
To track donor acquisition and retention over the past five years, analyze the timeline under Donor lifecycle over time. For each status, you can gauge the effectiveness of your long-term donor acquisition and retention efforts compared to attrition and quickly identify negative trends that need your attention. To view and manage a list of constituents with a specific status for a specific month, select its point on the graph.
Ideally, your donor acquisition and retention — and the giving of those supporters — outweighs your donor attrition and their at-risk revenue. For suggestions on how to acquire and retain donors or recapture those who lapse or are lost, see Donor Acquisition and Retention or Donor Attrition.
Tip: In Analyze, the donor lifecycle metrics consider only constituents' personal giving to your organization. To consider soft credits in addition to personal giving to gauge donor attrition, use tags on constituent lists or records. For more information, see Tags and Recommendations.