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Amplifying Impact: Insights from Rescue Mission Fundraising Trends

Masterworks and Virtuous have collaborated to analyze fundraising performance across rescue missions over the past six years, revealing significant insights into annual revenue trends per general donor. This research aims to provide rescue missions with data-driven strategies to enhance donor value and organizational impact, with further discussion and insights to be shared in an upcoming webinar on April 16th.

Rescue missions play a pivotal role in transforming lives, offering hope, and providing essential resources to millions. In my role at Masterworks, I hear from many of our mission clients that it is easy to feel isolated in the midst of all of this life-changing work, leaving many professionals looking for an idea of what is normal and how they compare to similar organizations.

Masterworks and Virtuous partnered to build a holistic view of fundraising performance for the various rescue missions over the last six calendar years. We aimed to uncover insights that could empower these organizations to thrive in their mission.

My team and I have loved getting to be able to dive into this data. Among the insights uncovered, one of the most illuminating discoveries pertains to the trends in annual revenue per general donor.

How It’s Calculated

To provide a normalized general donor file, we’ve excluded donors who have given gifts of $10,000 or more. This allows us to focus specifically on the contributions from typical donors within our database.

Why We Look at It

We want to ensure that the average value of the overall donor file increases year over year. The goal is to retain and upgrade the most valuable donors.  

How It Can Be Improved

If your organization measures lower than the benchmark, it may be due to acquisition lists and channels. Are you optimizing your acquisition strategy to focus on the long-term value of a donor or against the initial volume of donors? This might mean moving from data models or strategies that focus primarily on response to one that focuses more on value. 

Additionally, look at the allocation of your fundraising dollars and time. Are you focusing enough on the middle and top of the donor pyramid, working to retain and grow your best donors? Too much time and effort to retain low-value segments may come at the cost of not building and nurturing your higher-value ones. Tailor some of your communication to these types of donors.  Ensure there is a mix of calls to action that have more significant asks and extended vision. 

Lastly, a great way to improve donor value is to invite donors into a monthly or recurring giving relationship. Make sure that is a regular part of your donor communication strategy.

Join Us on April 16

Amplifying Rescue Mission Impact in 2024

If you find this intriguing and are seeking actionable strategies to elevate your organization’s impact, I’d love for you to join our upcoming webinar on April 16th. We’ll dive deeper into trends such as donor retention, reactivation, and sustained revenue growth.

Let’s amplify the impact of rescue missions in 2024 and beyond.

What you should do now

Below are three ways we can help you begin your journey to building more personalized fundraising with responsive technology.

Take a self-guided tour of Virtuous, where you can explore the platform at your own pace and see if Virtuous is right for you. 

Download our free Responsive Maturity Model and learn the 5 steps to more personalized donor experiences.

If you know another nonprofit pro who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via Email, Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook.

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Todd Shinabarger
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