Breaking news from Bratislava...
Meet the typical donor, as charities see the beast:
A cash cow.
And -- oh, yes -- mythical.
Because literally the last thing a donor thinks about, when making a gift, is money. Money is merely a constraint: "What can I afford?"
Yet, for charities, money is so damn often all that matters. Charities are dairy farmers. Donors are cows: interchangeable, indistinguishable members of a herd of "resource suppliers."
I'm a donor. I suspect you're a donor. Should we all just learn to say "Moo"?
Well, no. What we've learned to say is "Goodbye." Jay Love at Bloomerang ran the numbers. The average American donor stays with a charity for just a meager, pathetic, disgraceful 1.9 years, as the data from the 2012 Fundraising Effectiveness Project of AFP and The Urban Institute showed.
Not a misprint (I asked Jay to check his math): you can expect new donors to stay with your organization on average less than 2 years. Which means (since it can cost $2 to raise $1 in new charity) you're probably breaking even at best on acquisition. I'm not too good with numbers, but I know this will never add up: "Every 100 donors gained in 2012 was offset by 105 donors lost through attrition." View the troubling infographic.
"Fundraising is not about money!"
... keynoter Alan Clayton proclaimed. He was speaking this October at the 4th annual Slovak Czech Fundraising Conference, in Bratislava, with a Scottish accent soft as kindness.
The specific reference: why give to cancer research? Why was such a thing worth doing for Alan personally?
Because both his mom and dad developed cancer when he was a young man.
Yet, thanks to advances made through donor-funded research, their cancers were not quickly fatal. By his own count, cancer research gave him "19,442 extra days of love together." Cancer research gave him on average an extra 26.6 years per parent: certainly worth a gift or three.
Quotations from Chairman Alan
I could live for years on the advice I heard tumble from Alan Clayton's busy mind. Advice like:
This was Alan's final slide, explaining how he sees himself as a fundraiser.