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Feb 21, 2024

Early Returns

We are knee-deep in analyzing last fall’s results. While there is of course some variation in results by organization, the general narrative is that last fall wasn’t great . . . but it wasn’t awful either.

It was just OK.

What we are seeing is that overall revenue was kind of flat, large gift giving was soft, general donor giving was steady, reactivation was strong, and new donor acquisition was lower.

Now granted, Fall 2022 and 2023 are following “the pandemic effect” – which were some of the best years fundraising has ever experienced. Most of the organizations we have looked at so far are still above pre-pandemic levels in revenue and donor counts.

Most organizations are concerned about their new donor acquisition performance. For the second consecutive year, acquisition isn’t replacing lapsing donors. This is causing overall donor counts to shrink. And while revenue was mostly flat year over year, most organizations did not see the rise in average gift size that fueled a lot of growth during the past decade.

I share the concern regarding new donor acquisition. While long-term donors continue to retain and give generously, it is getting more difficult to find new donors to stop the attrition of active donor file sizes. We at Analytical Ones are working on putting together an online symposium to discuss innovative ways to acquire donors.

Stay tuned!

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