What Is Donor-Centered Fundraising?

Penelope Burk’s evidence-based formula for increasing fundraising profit in a changing giving environment

Donor-Centered Fundraisingis an integrated and collaborative approach to raising money that inspires donors to remain loyal longer, to make more generous gifts, and to shift their giving from modest to generous sooner. The concept is easy to understand; it focuses on the things that make fundraising more profitable; and it comes from donors themselves.

Donor-Centered Fundraising fulfills donors’ three essential requirements:
  • receiving prompt and meaningful acknowledgement whenever they make a gift;
  • having every gift they make, regardless of its value, assigned to a program, project or initiative narrower in scope than the mission as a whole;
  • receiving a report, in measurable terms, on what was accomplished with the last gift before being asked for another.

How Traditional and Donor-Centered Fundraising Compare on Retention and Gift Value

PERFORMANCE MEASURES TRADITIONAL FUNDRAISING GIFT RENEWAL/GIFT VALUE DONOR-CENTERED FUNDRAISING GIFT RENEWAL/GIFT VALUE
Likelihood of giving again the next time donor is asked (1)35% of new donors renew sometime within the next year, though not necessarily the next time they are asked 67% would definitely or probably renew the next time they were asked
Likelihood of making a larger gift (2)21.4% of donors who renew make a larger gift 52% would definitely or probably make a larger gift when they renew
Likelihood of continuing to give indefinitely (3)<10% of donors continue to give to the same not-for-profit beyond five asks or campaigns 67% would definitely or probably continue supporting a donor-centered not-for-profit indefinitely

(1) donorCentrics Index of Direct Marketing Fundraising, 2014 First Quarter Caledar Quarter Results, H Flannery, P Grainger, R Harris, C Rhine, Target Analytics, a division of Blackbaud, Inc., July 2014
(2) 2016 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report, AFP/The Urban Institute, September, 2016

(3) Estimate by Cygnus Applied Research, Inc. based on long term retention/attrition analysis of donors giving to Cygnus’ clients

PENELOPE BURK'S BEST-SELLING BOOK

Donor-Centered Fundraising

SECOND EDITION
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 Fully updated, substantially expanded, and backed by all-new research with tens of thousands of donors. Donor-Centered Fundraising is the proven strategy for holding onto your donors and raising much more money in a changing giving environment.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
📞 Call Kristen at (800) 263-0267
✉   info@cygresearch.com