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A study by About Loyalty, a research-based consultancy for the charity sector, is believed to be the largest ever study into the key drivers of supporter loyalty. It takes in a decade of study and a new three-year research project into 50,000 donors from 12 UK charities. As a result, About Loyalty has been able to provide irrefutable evidence that improving the supporter experience and growing supporter loyalty leads directly to increased donor retention and increased income.
This first ever measure of supporter loyalty shows that an increase of just one point leads to:
– 20% more income over three years
– 15% more retained donors over three years, and
– 9% more people intending to leave a legacy
Putting this into context, for a supporter base of 70,000 donors over three years the charity could receive an additional £1million.
At the launch event for the research in June, the Chartered Institute of Fundraising’s director of policy Daniel Fluskey called it: “the kind of research that takes us all forward, as individual organisations and as fundraisers, but also as a sector in terms of fundraising practice.”
Commenting on the research, Tracey Pritchard, Director of Engagement and Income Generation, RSPCA said:
“This report provides a breakthrough in understanding how to increase supporter loyalty through developing their commitment, satisfaction and trust. Everyone responsible for creating fundraising strategy and assigning budget needs to understand that an investment in growing the loyalty of existing supporters is as important as their investment into acquiring new ones.”
Over ten years of study, About Loyalty identified and examined more than 20 drivers of supporter loyalty. A three-year research project then saw it focus on the top ten of these drivers to quantify the impact they have on actual supporter giving. This work identified the three drivers of emotional loyalty that are the most important for building behavioural loyalty across all causes and forms of charitable giving – commitment, followed by satisfaction and trust.
Based on this, About Loyalty developed an overall measure – a Loyalty Score – for every individual donor in the study, showing that it is possible to measure supporter loyalty and therefore to proactively grow loyalty, and ultimately income too.
Roger Lawson, director and founder of About Loyalty, said:
“We’ve all known for many years that the way we make supporters feel directly impacts whether they’ll go on to support us again. But we’ve never been able to prove the relationship with future giving, or which emotions are the most powerful. This ground-breaking study proves just that.
“For charities that want to grow supporter loyalty and long-term income, these are essential insights that can and should be applied at the very heart of every supporter development programme.”
“This research makes a definitive case for prioritising the growth of supporter loyalty through tangible evidence that growing loyalty grows giving. It could fundamentally change fundraising practice.”
About Loyalty’s report also reveals how charities including The Woodland Trust, Barnardo’s and Cancer Research UK have measured and taken action to grow supporter loyalty, demonstrating how these insights can be translated into practical action and results.
The report can be downloaded from the About Loyalty site.