What Is Donor-Centered Fundraising?

Donor-Centered Fundraising fulfills donors’ essential requirements


Donor-Centered Fundraising is an integrated and collaborative approach to raising money that inspires donors to remain loyal longer and give more generously sooner. It is easy to understand; it focuses on the things that make fundraising 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.

Comparing Traditional and Donor-Centered Fundraising Strategies on Retention and 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


Donor-Centered Fundraising, Second Edition


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.

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