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.
What are we doing about it? is the million-dollar question, and the answer is sadly, not much.
Earlier this week, I published the first white paper of a series that explores current fundraising challenges, how we as an industry arrived at our current state and what we can do to change course. The latter being key … because frankly, I’m sick and tired of reading and writing about declining industry performance … ongoing retention struggles … etc., etc., etc. Truly, it’s frustrating.
The first of four white papers, it explores the over-arching challenge of donor retention, and the reasons why it continues to be a hindrance for many nonprofits. Of course, included are the widely accepted, industry-driven beliefs, but I also present new ideas as to why retention issues persist. Topics that most nonprofits shy away from – they’re the difficult and uncomfortable ones that are rarely discussed in a constructive or productive manner. A bit of tough love.
(I know internal politics and budgets are sensitive subjects … but to truly change the direction of your program, they need to be addressed head on.)
As fundraisers, we need to start having these difficult conversations with ourselves and our colleagues. We need to start challenging the status quo and accept that it’s a new playing field, and we need to start adapting.
Genuinely, I hope you enjoy reading it (Why Half of Your Donors are Disappearing) and that my thoughts inspire you to rethink how things are done today and challenge them to build a better future.