Fundraising Effectiveness Project

The Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) goal is to help grow philanthropy's share of the GDP. It pursues this goal by providing nonprofits with tools for tracking and evaluating their annual growth in giving. Growth in giving is the net of gains in giving minus losses in giving. Nonprofits raise more money by investing more money in growth-oriented fundraising strategies that both increase gains and reduce losses. The FEP is focused on "effectiveness" (maximizing growth in giving) rather than "efficiency" (minimizing costs). It conducts an annual survey and publishes gain(loss) statistics in a yearly report through a partnership between The Urban Institute, Association of Fundraising Professionals, and AFP's Donor Software Workgroup.

DONOR AND GIFT RETENTION RATES For 2013-2014:

  1. The donor retention rate was 43% in 2014
  2. The gift retention rate was 47% in 2014
  3. Overall donor retention rate: 43 percent of all 2013 donors (new and repeat donors combined) gave again in 2014

Source: 2015 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report

Historical Trends

The 10-year Average Retention Rates 2005-2014

  • Donor Retention Rate 42%
  • Gift Retention Rate 44%

ANNUAL FUNDRAISING EFFECTIVENESS SURVEY REPORTS

Annual FEP reports can help charities identify areas of improvement in their fundraising, such as donor retention, by comparing gains and loss in a number of different categories.

  1. 2015 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report
  2. 2014 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report
  3. 2013 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report
  4. 2012 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report
  5. 2011 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report
  6. 2011 FEP Donor Retention Supplement
  7. 2010 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report
  8. 2009 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report
  9. 2008 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report
  10. FEP Pilot 2004-05 Survey Report (July, 2007)