Charities need to stop believing that increasing loyalty engagement with donors will reduce attrition rates and instead focus on improving customer service when people contact the charity, according to a new paper from Donor Voice.
The experience and relationship management company has published a paper titled Donor Churn – How to stop it before it starts and why current approaches prevent this from happening.
It warns that there is no evidence to support the belief that the ratio of ‘soft’ communications, with no ask for a donation, to ‘hard’, that include an ask, made little or no difference to attrition rates.
“The specific issue in this case is thinking the donor actually has these same mental categories of ‘ask/no ask’ for thinking about and experiencing charity,” the report said. This means that charities are “leaving unaddressed the real reasons” that people stop giving.
The report is based on research among mainly US charities, because according to the agency American charities are much more advanced in tackling the issue of attrition.
The report also warned that: “Service in the non-profit sector is too often relegated to some distant corner of the organisation and/or treated as a cost centre.”
The report highlights the issue of being able to find a charity's phone number on its website and said: “Shockingly, many of those same charities acknowledge this is done with intent.”
According to the report charities should do more to collect feedback from those people contacting the charity.
“In short, service is the new sales by extension, a new way to fundraise that delivers spectacular ROI,” the report concludes.