Journal article

New versus frequent donors: exploring the behaviour of the most desirable donors

15 Aug 2016

While there is no shortage of worthy recipients for prosocial behaviour, there is a constant battle to attract and keep donors. This research examines money and blood donor behaviour for two key desirable groups, new donors, to grow the donor base, and frequent donors to secure current support streams. We draw on records from a U.S. health related charity for over 1.2 million donors for a three-year timeframe; and records of all Australian blood donors (1.1 million) for a five-year timeframe. We show the law-like patterns that underpin brand growth in other markets also apply in the non-profit sector. The vast majority of new donors give once or twice a year and few give at higher frequency levels. The stability of the churn level across blood and money donations suggests a structural norm in behaviour over time rather than an outcome of marketing strategy. We discuss implications for resource allocation and marketing strategies.

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