Book Review: Retention Fundraising The New Art and Science of Keeping Your Donors For Life

Book Review: Retention Fundraising The New Art and Science of Keeping Your Donors For Life

Roger M. Craver (2015)

We’re never going to return to the good old days … Days when donors could be acquired at a profit … Days when little attention was paid to the loss of donors … That was then!

Today, we’re bleeding donors. We’re losing support as fast as we find it, seemingly condemned forever to pay a fortune to stand still.

As Ken Burnett writes in his foreward, “fundraisers routinely put up with it, as if attrition were a fundraising fact of life. It isn’t. The leaking bucket is a sign of monumental failure in our profession.”

But we can stem the flow and Roger Craver knows how to do it.

In this short and easy-to-read fundraising book, Roger gives you the tools you need to help your organisation think differently and set the stage for improved retention.

From advice on longer-term investment right through to easy retention wins you can do right now, use this book as your guide to take decisive, effective action to stem donor attrition.

Plus just to double make sure that you have no excuses not to get started, there’s also a dedicated website for retention discussion and updates.

The good news is that there is a proven process for increasing donor retention:

  • Switch the focus from past transactions to ongoing commitment
  • Find out what matters most to donors
  • Remove the retention barriers in your charity
  • Identify committed donors. Delight them regularly.
  • Do everything more quickly.
  • Give great feedback.
  • Invest in retention.

If you’re a fundraiser serious about keeping your donors, then this book should go to the top of your current reading list. Keep it on your desk and never file it.

Read it, learn from it and action it. Do what Roger says and your charity – and your donors – will reap the rewards.

Other seminal retention books that we’re still talking about – and reading – 25 years later!

Relationship Fundraising A donor-based approach to the business of raising money Ken Burnett (2002, second edition)

Building Donor Loyalty The fundraiser’s guide to increasing lifetime value Adrian Sargeant and Elaine Jay (2004)