Fundraisers are spending more time finding new donors and less time asking existing donors to give more, research by the market analysis company Pearlfinders suggests.
The company asked 96 charities to choose, from three options, what their main fundraising priority had been in the first quarter of 2011.
The proportion of charities that said donor acquisition was their most important priority increased from 56 per cent in 2010 to 68 per cent this year. The percentage that chose developing existing donors fell from 37 per cent in 2010 to 18 per cent this year.
Those focusing on retaining donors rose from 7 per cent to 12 per cent.
Anthony Cooper, managing director of Pearlfinders, said that despite the findings investment in development and retention would return as new donors would demand "sophisticated engagement strategies to stay on board".
"In terms of acquiring new individual donors, the evolution of digital and social media channels is increasingly offering opportunities for lower-cost donor acquisition and awareness campaigns, whose effectiveness can be measured and reported on more accurately," he said.