It’s tempting to judge the success of an acquisition program by simply looking at how many new donors signed up. The more donors the better, right? The reality is a bit more complicated. The better question to ask is: for how long did each donor continue giving?
When you factor in acquisition costs (e.g. data costs, calling costs, or other services), new regular givers who cancel within the first six, twelve or even 18 months might actually end up costing the charity money. Attrition rates (i.e. the percentage of donors that churn per month) are therefore critical for a successful program.
Dataro recently compared attrition rates between newly acquired regular givers and reactivated regular givers across a broad range of charities. We're often asked about how long reactivated regular givers can be expected to keep giving. The results showed that on average reactivated regular givers continued giving for longer than newly acquired donors.
Interesting insights include:
- 42% of new donors typically churn within the first 12 months, compared to just 32% of reactivators
- After 24 months, 57% of new donors have typically churned, compared to 47% of reactivators
Of course, results will vary from organisation to organisation and program to program, but the trend in this analysis is clear.
Acquisition and retention are opposite sides of the same coin and both are critical for growing a healthy regular giving program. This analysis confirms charities should pay close attention to how long donors acquired from different programs are retained and consider questions like why some donors churn more quickly than others. Such insights can help to develop a more focussed acquisition and retention strategy. It also shows that failing to focus on reactivations is a missed opportunity to re-engage with potential long-term supporters.
Dataro supports charities in identifying which lapsed regular givers are the most likely to reactivate each month with our machine learning CRM integrations. For instance, we recently helped a major children’s charity improve reactivations by 40%. This analysis further demonstrates the long term value of these reactivated regular givers.