Blackbaud Institute’s New Report Reveals Untapped Value of New Donors

New resource provides data-backed insights on the latest household giving trends, as well as proven fundraising strategies to retain increasingly valuable donors in the changing landscape

Blackbaud has released a new report, “Vital Signs Part 2: The Undeveloped Value of New Donors,” featuring research-backed insight expanding upon donor behavior and specific retention strategies that map to the current giving landscape. This latest report from the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact™ is a follow-up to its Vital Signs Part 1 study, which looked at giving between 2010 and 2015 and showed how these challenges impacted the work of fundraisers.

“Part 1 of the Blackbaud Institute’s Vital Signs report showed a sector that has both rebounded from and struggled with the immense technological, economic, and demographic disruption that has shaped the world since the Great Recession,” said Mike Geiger, author of the report’s foreword and president and CEO of Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). “Now, in Vital Signs Part 2, these trends are revisited to provide deeper insight into the ways fundraisers can be more successful in this evolving donor landscape. This newest report doesn’t just give us new figures and data – it also provides ideas, steps, and perspective on how to address and increase our retention figures.”

The Blackbaud Institute’s Vital Signs Part 1 showed that while fewer households are giving, those who are giving are more valuable than ever. As such, today, organizations need to significantly focus their efforts to retain these donors. Vital Signs Part 2 expands upon these findings to learn more about:

  • How the rise of civic engagement in 2017 affected the negative trends uncovered in Vital Signs Part 1; with the decline in new donor households appearing to stabilize in 2016 and, in 2017, the number of households adding organizations to their giving portfolio increasing for the first time since 2010
  • What happens when donor households add one or more organizations to its giving portfolio, and whether they continue to support\ their regular charities
  • What specific retention strategies organizations can implement to not only acquire new donors but retain them more effectively

“While the number of households giving has declined, the value of their giving has increased at a better rate than inflation; and our most recent data shows that this decline may have stopped and could even be reversing,” said Chuck Longfield, Blackbaud’s chief scientist and senior advisor to the Blackbaud Institute. “We’ve seen how greater social and political trends can affect our donor bases, with donor trends mirroring the economy. As we look ahead to an even more uncertain landscape, there has never been a better time to double down on stewardship, embrace our donors, and focus on acquisition.”

To download the report, visit: