Many Returning Donors Return to Make Second Gift Within Three Months

Many Returning Donors Return to Make Second Gift Within Three Months

Return online peer-to-peer fundraisers raise more than twice as much as one-time fundraisers, a report from Classy, online fundraising software provider finds.

Based on 2017 and 2018 data from the Classy Fundraising Suite — including nearly a million donations, twenty thousand fundraising campaigns, and almost four thousand organizations — the report, The State of Modern Philanthropy 2019 (58 pages, PDF), explored the behaviors of donors who made an initial one-time donation to an organization and then returned to re-engage with that same organization. According to the report, while only 14 percent of peer-to-peer fundraisers returned to create new peer-to-peer fundraising pages within the two-year time frame of the study, return fundraisers raised an average of $501, compared with $222 by one-time fundraisers.

The analysis also found that while most repeat donors make a second one-time donation around the one-year anniversary of their initial gift — likely in response to a message from the nonprofit — 19 percent do so within three months of their initial donation. And one-time donors who sign up as recurring donors — on a monthly basis, for example — typically do so four and a half months sooner than a typical donor. The report also found that a quarter of  donors who sign up as recurring donors also make another one-time gift on top of their recurring donations.

"Our customers found the data in last year's report to be useful in driving their fundraising strategies forward, so we decided to make this an annual endeavor," said Ben Cipollini, director of data science at Classy. "As an industry, we're often hyper-focused on donor churn — whether a first-time donor stays with an organization or not — and while we believe in the importance of that focus, we wanted to use this opportunity to bring attention to the supporters who do come back. By examining the behavioral patterns of donors who re-engage with an organization, we're hoping we can help nonprofits better nurture those supporters and keep them coming back time and again."

"New Classy Report Finds Return Peer-to-Peer Fundraisers Raise Over Twice as Much as One-Time Fundraisers." Classy Press Release 05/07/2019.