Report Finds Donor Retention at 60 Percent for Small and Medium Organizations

As the fundraising landscape continues to evolve, the key to success may be in finding new donors. The 2015 IDB Report is available now with more specialized data for small and medium nonprofits. This year’s survey reports donor retention is only 60 percent – making the search for new donors more important than ever before.

“The donor retention rate for small nonprofits is higher than other surveys with different audiences, but lower than many people expect,” said Heather Yandow, IDB Project founder.

Developed by Third Space Studio and BC/DC Ideas, the Individual Donor Benchmark Report collects fundraising data from organizations with budgets under $2 million, seeking to identify trends nonprofits can use to spark their own fundraising success. The 2015 Individual Donor Benchmark Report is once again empowering small and medium nonprofit organizations to explore their donor potential, enhance their fundraising strategies and raise more money from individual donors.

“When I started this work, it was with a simple goal: to create data that would help grassroots organizations strengthen their fundraising,” said Heather Yandow, Third Space Studio. “I believe that successful fundraisers set ambitious yet realistic goals, experiment with new strategies, and invest in the strategies that work. Success centers around good data and setting a standard of success that can be achieved.”

The IDB Project is unique to the nonprofit sector because no other survey offers the level of in-depth fundraising analysis to benefit nonprofits of this size. This year’s report uncovered some fascinating trends offering resources every nonprofit fundraiser can utilize for greater success.

The key findings highlighted in the 2015 report include:

  • The best way to ensure fundraising success is to have a plan. (Data confirmed in both 2014 and 2015 report)
  • Organizations retain about 60% of their donors from year to year.
  • About half of individual donor revenue comes from donors giving less than $1,000.
  • 1 out of every 5 individual donor dollars is raised online.
  • 4 out of 10 board members are active in fundraising in any significant way.
  • Organizations raise 34% of their revenue from individuals.

For more influential data, the entire 2015 Individual Donor Benchmark Report and Infographic is available online. 

Yandow added, “The continued success of the IDB Project proves nonprofits can benefit greatly from tailored fundraising data and established best practices. It’s exciting to see organizations so committed to understanding their data and learning how to effectively increase individual donor success.”

“The IDB Project is further proof that your budget doesn’t have to be outstanding to create real, positive impact in your community or to set new goals for your organization,” said Dawn Crawford, Principle Communicator of BC/DC Ideas. “Across the country, nonprofits are finding innovative ways to use fundraising and communications to further their mission and strive for success.”

Fundraisers and leaders who take the time to participate in the IDB survey are interested in making their nonprofit more successful, moving their cause forward, and building better relationships with activists, donors and supporters. With access to data specialized for small to medium-sized organizations, the IDB Project seeks to be a multimedia resource to cultivate greater fundraising success across the nonprofit sector.

Third Space Studio based in Durham, North Carolina collected and analyzed the survey while BC/DC Ideas, a Raleigh based communications firm for nonprofits, designed the report and infographic. Both organizations specialize in nonprofit strategy, communications and fundraising.

Thanks to the generous partners of the Individual Donor Benchmark Project: Third Space Studio, BC/DC Ideas, Ravela Insights, DonorPerfect, Little Green Light, AGH Strategies, Network for Good, NationBuilder, Idealware, and the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training.

2015-IDB-Infographic-page-001About Third Space Studios – Third Space Studio partners with nonprofits to make their work more focused and strategic. We bring more than 40 years of collective experience in the nonprofit world to bear on nonprofits of all shapes and sizes working to create real and lasting change that transforms communities and the planet. Through strategic planning, business planning, fundraising coaching, facilitation, and training, we strengthen nonprofit’s leadership, fundraising, and programs. Learn more at 

About BC/DC Ideas – BC/DC Ideas is an independent, full-service agency that specializes in creating meaningful communications that make a difference. Working exclusively with nonprofits, we bring our passion for storytelling, design, fundraising and sound strategy to help our clients achieve greater impact. Our team draws on extensive experience in nonprofit and corporate communications, marketing and advertising. Our greatest joy is working with clients who want to change the world. Learn more at

Author BrianCrawford

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