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These studies investigate issues relating to the recruitment and retention of supporters.


Keywords: donor retention

Source: ‘Donor retention: An exploratory study of door-to-door recruits’, by A. Sargeant and J. Hudson, International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing (2007) vol. 13, pp.89-101


Conclusions: This study found that

1. Donors who had been recruited via door-to-door fundraising but had ceased to donate were significantly less happy with the quality of ongoing communication from the charity in comparison to active donors.

2. Those who had ceased to donate were generally significantly younger than those who continued to donate.

3. Those who had ceased to donate reported experiencing pressure at the point of recruitment.


Key caveats:

The results were predominantly self-reported attitudinal data, which may not directly correlate with actual behaviour in real life fundraising contexts.


URL/DOI: 10.1002/nvsm.301


Keywords: donor retention


Source: ‘Factors influencing donation switching behaviour among charity supporters: An empirical investigation’, by R. Bennett, Journal of Customer Behaviour (2009) vol. 8.4, pp.329-345


Conclusions: This study found that

1. In switching from supporting one charity to supporting another, the congruence between a person’s self-image and a particular charity, level and nature of involvement with the first charity, boredom and overfamiliarity with the first charity’s communications, and the attractiveness of the second charity were highly significant influences in motivation to switch.

2. In switching from supporting one charity to supporting another, satisfaction/dissatisfaction with the first charity’s work and perception of the quality of the first charity’s communications did not significantly influence the decision to switch charities.


Key caveats: This study took place via face-to-face on-street interviews.


URL/DOI: 10.1362/147539209X480972


Keywords: donor recruitment, direct marketing


Source: ‘Benchmarking charity performance: Returns from direct marketing in fundraising’, by A. Sargeant, E. Jay, S. Lee, Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing (2006) vol. 16.1/2, pp.77-94


Conclusions: This study found

1. Reciprocal mailings appear to incur a more favourable cost per donor, with regard to short term returns, in comparison to all other forms of cold recruitment.

2. Face-to-face fundraising methods appear to offer a relatively strong ROI in comparison to other direct recruitment mediums.

3. Relative to alternative fundraising techniques, direct marketing is comparatively expensive and inefficient.


Key caveats: This study focused on large charities. The study provides a snapshot of initial returns on donor recruitment activity by may not accurately predict lifetime value. The results were self-reported attitudinal data, which may not directly correlate with actual behaviour in real life fundraising contexts.                


URL/DOI: 10.1300/J054v16n01_05


Keywords: supporter recruitment, small charities

Source: ‘Small is beautiful—Experimental evidence of donors’ preferences for charities’, by S. Borgloh, A. Dannenberg and B. Aretz, Economic Letters (2013) vol. 120, pp.242-244

Conclusions: This experiment found that 
1. When the only difference in charity appeals messages was detail of the size of revenue of the charity (small or large) a significantly larger number of participants chose to give to the small revenue charity than the large revenue charity (across four different kinds of charities). 
2. Where details of revenue were provided, the size (i.e. revenue) of the charity made no statistically significant difference to the average size of donation (per individual).
3. Inclusion of details of the charity’s revenue within a message did not increase the number or size of donations in comparison to messages not including this detail. 


Key caveats: This study was undertaken in Germany. The wording of the provision of detail was not provided.

URL/DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2013.04.011


Keywords: microcharity, persuasion, supporter recruitment

Source: ‘Influences of altruistic motivation, shared vision and perceived accessibility on microcharity behaviour’, by L. Du, L. Qian and Y. Feng, Social Behavior and Personality (2014) vol. 42.10, pp.1639-1650

Conclusions: This study found that donations of money and time to a microcharity were highest when people a) were predisposed towards altruistic behaviour, b) shared the vision of the microcharity (in detail) and c) were able to easily access opportunities to give and volunteer.

Key caveats: This study took place in America. It used a survey method: the results were therefore predominantly self-reported attitudinal data, which may not directly correlate with actual beliefs or behaviour. Respondents were all supporters of a microcharity.

URL/DOI: 10.2224/sbp.2014.42.10.1639

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