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With the latest UK Giving study from Charities Aid Foundation showing that the number of charity donors in the UK has fallen, it has never been more important that we do all we can to keep supporters on board. So what steps can your charity take to minimise donor attrition levels within your regular supporter base?
While there may be some concern that Direct Debit continues to be one of the most important and valued income streams across the sector, with cancellation rates hitting an all-time low in 2018. Charities are increasing their focus on supporter care, and although there has been a dip in the number of supporters, they are giving more generously. In other words, these supporters are committed, engaged and deeply valued. All the more reason to ensure you’re doing what you can to keep them.
Without a doubt, there are peaks and troughs to the annual cancellation cycle for every organisation, with some facing higher levels of attrition than others. So it’s important to know your attrition level and to consider how it compares to other charities. That means monitoring donor attrition on a regular basis as well as acquisition figures to understand what is the norm for your organisation.
Review your data to identify peak months for donor recruitment, the amount given and cancellations. Typically, the peak months for charitable giving in the UK tend to be November and December, with cancellations picking up a little in January as the public tighten their belts after what is often a costly Christmas. But for many charities, their peak charitable giving period may well come at another point in the year, linked to the timing of their own fundraising appeals. You can find out more about the cancellation cycle and typical cancellation rates in our latest Direct Debit Tracking Report.
Look at what your data tells you and consider what you can do to pre-empt peak cancellation periods? This could be as simple as sending a well-timed thank you message in the new year to remind supporters of the impact of their donations. What other trigger communications could you embed into your supporter care strategy to keep people giving?
Although some supporters will actively choose to stop donating, donor attrition is often down to other reasons such as insufficient funds in the account or incorrect bank details. In fact, more than one in ten failed or cancelled donations is categorised as a ‘no show’ payment, where a newly signed up donor fails to make their first Direct Debit payment. This can be because a supporter has changed their mind or that their financial circumstances have changed, but it could also be down to a processing error.
Understanding why a supporter stops donating gives you the power to take action, whether that means offering the supporter a payment holiday, alternative ways of supporting the charity or correcting any financial details.
Consider using a tool like Control My Payment to give donors greater choice around when their payments are made and the level of their donations. Surely it’s better to keep supporters on board by offering them a break or reduction in their donations than to risk losing them altogether. In fact, 74% of people questioned for the Changing Face of Payments report thought they should have full control over their Direct Debits each month.
Rapidata’s Managed Direct Debit Service has been developed specifically to support the needs of the non-profit sector. Providing fast, reliable and secure payment processing, we also provide an online platform to monitor and manage payments, integration with your own database systems and communications schedule, and regular reporting enabling you to focus on meeting the needs of your beneficiaries. Find out more and contact our expert team today.