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Jul 13, 2016

The Shift to Lift

At Analytical Ones, we simplify all of our recommendations into three categories: Win (acquisition and reactivation); Lift (upgradation) and Keep (retention).

If you study donor files, active donor counts peaked in 2008, at the cliff of the Great Recession. Though some organizations have stabilized their active file sizes, few organizations are able to surpass where they were in 2008.

As I have reviewed our SGAs (Strategic Growth Analyses) over the past 8 years, our recommendations have been heavily weighted in the Win category. Organizations have consistently had challenges acquiring and reactivating donors. And despite a lot of effort and dollars targeted in this area, it’s not moving the needle. File sizes continue to decline.

Keep rates have improved a bit over the last 8 years. But this isn’t because organizations are better at bonding with their donors. It’s more a file weighting composition thing. Since there are fewer new donors on file, the balance is tilted to Multi-Year donors which have better retention rates. Thus overall retention looks better. When it fact, they are relatively stable.

The one area that has improved is Lift. Donors are giving bigger gifts. In fact, if you look at most files, in terms of revenue the improvement in average gift size has more than mitigated the decline in donor counts. Or in other words, revenue continues to grow while file sizes shrink.

I think the conclusion here is though we can’t give up on winning new donors and reactivating old ones, more investment should be directed towards Lift strategies: Upgrading donors through either larger gifts, more frequent gifts, or both. This is the macro trend in fundraising at the moment. Stop trying to fight it and embrace it.

Shift to Lift.

The Regression to the Mean has Begun

A year ago, all of us in the business of fundraising were nervous. Lockdowns were taking place across the world, there were shortages of toilet paper and no one was sure how donors would respond. No one could have predicted that donors would respond in a such an...

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December 31 Emails

This past year, we tracked email solicitations for both Giving Tuesday and December 31 (your can read about Giving Tuesday here: https://www.analyticalones.com/giving-spam-tuesday/). We wanted to compare these two critical days of email fundraising. Here are some...

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Giving (SPAM) Tuesday

This year, the whole Analytical Ones’ team tracked our the number of emails we received from organizations, how many we received, our relationship with the organization (active donor, lapsed donor or new donor acquisition), and, when we received the email. Here is...

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