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NFPs concerned about donor acquisition and member engagement, ASI report reveals

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Advanced Solutions International (ASI) has released its fourth annual report that identifies the latest trends in performance and investments within the Not-for-Profit sector.

The fourth annual Global Benchmark report, which is divided into two sections; a Fundraising Performance report and Membership Performance report, found that organisations are increasingly concerned about increasing their donor acquisition and member engagement

“These two reports explore the foremost challenges, goals and opportunities non-profits are currently facing to both attract new members/donors and to maintain their existing bases,” ASI said in a statement.


Fundraising Performance

The Fundraising Performance report found that Not-for-Profits are increasingly concerned about donor acquisition, closely followed by donor retention.

The study found that the top challenges facing NFPs include inadequate integration between the donor management system and website, insufficient online and mobile self-service options, and poor or incomplete data.

The majority indicated that there had been a reduction in the donor bases since 2017. The number of those who could not answer nearly doubled from six per cent in 2017 to 11 per cent.

Donor retention was also decreasing, with only 22 per cent of organisations reporting an increase. However, 78 per cent reported they had a recurring donations/regular giving and found that it was the second-most effective marketing channel.

“Each donor is different and organisations need to be open, flexible and responsive to their changing needs,” the Fundraising Performance report read.

“This is why it’s vital that non-profits explore all possible strategies to boost retention and engagement, including increasing online self-service options, replacing outdated donor management systems, and ensuring mobile-friendly content and resources.”

The report recommended an engagement plan as those organisations who have one in place reported a 77 per cent increase in donor retention, a 65 per cent boost in donation levels, a 48 per cent improved website traffic and 42 per cent boost in event attendance.

“The most successful fundraising organisations ensure their business strategy drives their technology investments,” the report said. “They continuously learn about themselves from their operational activities.”


Membership Performance

The Membership Performance report found that improving member engagement and retention were among the top priorities in the NFP sector with their biggest concern being how to increase and maintain user commitment.

The report found that the majority of respondents reported an overall retention rate of 75 per cent, up from 65 in 2017. However, the report also found confidence in future sustainability is down from 2017.

Less than a quarter of survey respondents reported retention had increased in the past year, whilst 70 per cent indicated that retention was either stagnant or had decreased in this same period.

“Inability to measure engagement, poor data and inadequate reporting tools continue to challenge association professionals in 2018,” the report said.

“To increase engagement and address measurement shortfalls, these organisations need a centralised member management system that aligns operations with their core business strategy that puts them on a path to long-term, continuous performance.”

The report strongly recommends that NFPs invest in an engagement plan. Of those who have a plan in place, 58 per cent saw increases in membership renewals, 54 per cent boosted attendance at events, 47 per cent increased website traffic and 20 per cent generated more non-membership revenue.

The report also found that less than two-thirds of respondents said their organisation was PCI compliant, leaving many open to the risk of lawsuits and lost revenue.

“If associations don’t address the core systematic issues, they will likely continue to wrestle with the same challenges for the foreseeable future,” the report said.


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