I’ve said (and written) it many times; “If you’re not measuring it, you’re probably not managing it.” Words to live by, don’t you think?
I first posted on the topic of Donor Development a long time ago with … Learning So Much About Church Donor Behavior! I was introducing a new tool I had found that makes “measurement” easy. The tool is a giving Capacity Assessor, and the company is MortarStone. We’re still using it today!
What’s the first step in any donor development strategy? Measurement.
So, what are we measuring? One of the data points that should be measured and acted upon is 1st-time donor retention. The Capacity Assessor refers to a 1st-time donor as a “Front Door” donor and, of course, there are also “Back Door” donors.
A Front Door donor is a family that gives to the church for the very first time. A Back Door donor, then, is a family that stops giving to the church. Obviously, it’s important to know about Front and Back Door donors, but more important than knowing about them is implementing a method of engaging/recognizing Front Door donors as well as determining why a family decided to no longer give to the church.
Focusing on the 1st time donor, our church is now developing a process that we hope will help us to improve retention. Our retention percentage from 2012 to 2013 (YTD) is around 23%. Compared to the national average, according to the Capacity Assessor (that’s right, this tool provides comparison, or benchmarking data), of 70%, we have some work to do.
Thanks to Church Community Builder (CCB), we will be implementing a “people process” that will help us to engage with 1st-time donors, helping them to become “long-time donors.”