The cancellation rate for donors recruited through face-to-face fundraising has dropped to pre-recession levels, according to the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association’s annual Donor Attrition and Retention Survey.
The survey, compiled by the social care charity Quarriers and the face-to-face fundraising company Future Fundraising, analysed data from 27 member charities of the PFRA, accounting for 818,163 individual donors.
It found that for street campaigns run in 2009, 44.2 per cent of sign-ups had cancelled their direct debits within 12 months, the lowest recorded level. The previous low was in 2004, when it was 46.4 per cent. Cancellations reached a high in 2008, when they were 53.5 per cent.
For door-to-door fundraising, the attrition in 2009 was 37.2 per cent, compared with 41.8 per cent in 2008. Doorstep attrition rates hit a peak in 2007, when they were 43.4 per cent.
Morag Fleming, head of supporter relations at Quarriers, said this showed the recession was the major factor influencing increased attrition.
"It is great news for charities because lower attrition means better retention, which means more money raised for good causes," she said.
For street campaigns launched in 2009, the survey found that donors under 29 years old were the most likely to have cancelled with 12 months, at 57.8 per cent.
For doorstep fundraising, donors older than 45 were the least likely to cancel their donations within 12 months, at 36.4 per cent.
Donors giving smaller gifts were found to be less likely to cancel than those giving higher initial gifts.