donor retention rate

How To Calculate Your Donor Retention Rate + Donor Retention Statistics

Repeat donations are one of the best ways to ensure that your church or nonprofit is successful in carrying out its mission. While you should always work towards expanding your reach and bringing in new donators, having a high average donor retention rate will make running your nonprofit much easier.

A high retention rate allows you to budget better for the coming months and years. For example, if you have a consistent retention rate between quarters of about 75-80% of an average of $10, you can budget for that amount of funds each quarter. While it will undoubtedly vary, it at least gives you a ballpark figure to work with.

So, how do you calculate your donor retention rate? And what are some key 2020 donor retention statistics you can look at for comparison? Let’s find out.

Calculating Your Donor Retention Rate

Calculating your retention rate for donors is quite simple. While there are a few different formulas out there, we have found that this one is both the easiest to calculate and provides the most reliable figure. Whether you’re trying to find your retention rate over the course of a month, quarter, or year, this formula will help you find it.

For example, here is the formula for finding your retention rate for the year 2020:

(Number of Donors That Donated in 2019 That Also Donated in 2020/Total Number of Donors in 2019) x 100

= Donor Retention Rate

So, let’s say that in 2019, you had a total of 432 donors. Of those 432 that donated in 2019, 337 donated in 2020. Now, let’s plug those figures into the formula to get our retention rate.

(337/432) x 100

= 78% Donor Retention Rate

That’s a pretty good figure! And remember, you can apply this formula based on any time period, as long as the time frame is consistent with the two variables. So, if you wanted to compare Q3 with Q2, you can easily do that as well.

Now let’s see how our fictional 78% retention rate compares to some of the average donor rates out there?

Three Key Donor Retention Stats

These stats are courtesy of The Fundraising Effectiveness Project.

Donor Retention Averages 45% Across Nonprofits

If you can get your retention rate to 50%, you’re actually doing better than the majority of nonprofits out there. That being said, you should always strive for more when it comes to your retention rate because the higher you can get it, the better off you’ll be, and the less pressure you’ll have to bring in new donors.

Donor Attrition Averages Around 55%

The attrition rate is how many donors you lose over a period of time. So, if we look at our previous example that found our fictional nonprofit with a donor retention rate of 78%, their attrition rate would be 22%. Obviously, that’s a pretty simple concept, but it’s good to understand both rates as they relate to your nonprofit. The more donors you keep, the less you lose, and the better off your nonprofit will be.

Every $100 Gained is Typically Offset By Around $96 in Losses Via Gift Attrition

Obviously, this varies amongst all nonprofits, but this stat once again shows just how important it is that you keep as many of your donors as possible. On average, even when a nonprofit’s revenue is going up, they are still losing a lot of those gains because of attrition.

So, how can you keep your donors giving consistently and avoid the painful loss of gift attrition? Using digital solutions is one way to do just that.

With Mobileaxept’s GiveNow, you can reach each and every donor where they are—on their smartphones.

GiveNow Text is a revolutionary text-giving product, offering the most intuitive donor experience on the market today. User-friendly and easy to integrate with your current systems, welcome your nonprofit into the 21st century today with GiveNow. Giving through your smartphone has never been easier with GiveNow. By making it simple for your donors to donate, you can greatly increase the likelihood of them becoming consistent, repeat donors.

To get started on improving your donor retention rate, contact us today!

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