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With not-for-profits in some countries losing up to an astonishing 70% of new donors, it’s time to change tactics.

I’ve just returned from attending the IFC in Holland and numerous discussions about donor loyalty and retention. The sector stats still make for depressing reading – every bit as depressing as they did when I first started working in fundraising some 25 years ago. The sector continues to lose over 50% of its newly acquired donors and 20-30% of individual donors year on year thereafter. There are of course massive variations by channel, cause and country. The USA still holds the record for the most shockingly poor pattern of results. When did it become acceptable to lose 70% of newly acquired donors?

One question that always comes up in the context of loyalty is lifetime value (LTV) and how best to calculate it and/or leverage its secrets to punch fundraising success. The first thing to note is that LTV is a toolbox, not a calculation per se. To understand how best to calculate LTV it is necessary to start with a question. For…
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