Posted by Jay Wilkinson

As 2014 winds down, you’re no doubt thinking ahead to the New Year and how you’ll reach out to your donors in 2015—and maybe even wondering how many will be back. But before you work to secure repeat donors, it’s important to understand why many supporters leave.

Based on research we’ve done, here are six common reasons.

1. “I’m not able to afford supporting the organization.”
There aren’t many supporters who say that, but lack of resources is certainly one reason a donor may stop giving.

2. “I don’t feel connected to the organization anymore.”
This is the, “it’s not you, it’s me” scenario, and it happens in all types of relationships, not just romantic ones. Sometimes people lose the connection to a cause they once embraced. There could be several reasons for this—maybe they’re looking for new people to connect with or and a new place to plug in and or their interests are evolving.

3. “I have no memory of ever supporting that organization.”
You’d be surprised how often this happens. People may donate to a peer-to-peer campaign of some sort and easily remember the person that they supported, but have no recollection of the organization behind the campaign.

4. “They ask me for too much money.”
Actually, I’d venture to say that many organizations ask for too little money too often. Kind of like those little dogs that nip at you out of somebody’s purse—they just nip, nip, nip and they drive you crazy. Too much asking is a turn-off (which often happens when you ask for too little), and can send donors running for another organization.

5. “They don’t tell me how my money is being used.”
If an organization isn’t forthcoming about how donations are being used, it can’t expect donors to stick around for long. Bottom line: People want to know that their money is making a difference. If supporters don’t understand their impact, they’ll find a new place to invest.

6. “They never reminded me to give again.”
This is one of the top reasons donors leave. They never received a message as simple as, “Thank you for donating last year. Would you like to give again this year?” Did you know that, with more than half of all donations made in the United States, no one reaches back out to those donors and asks them to give again? That’s the national average across the country. It’s remarkable to think that something so obvious could be the cause of donor attrition, but it’s true.

These are six common reasons why donors leave. The question now is how do you get them to stay? Stay tuned—that’s my next post.