Regular donors recruited through street fundraising who cancel their direct debits after a short time do so mainly because of a change in their financial circumstances, rather than any problem with the charity or recruitment method.
Research into the behaviour of these donors, conducted by the University of West England, also found that half of lapsed donors only planned to give for a year or less when they signed up. While most were able to guess quite accurately how much it cost the charity to recruit them, it did not occur to them that by stopping donations after a short time, they were actually costing the charity money.
The survey also found that lapsed donors tend to be far younger than those that keep giving and that, contrary to media portrayals of negative perceptions, more than 90 per cent of donors were happy with the face-to-face fundraising process.
The University team deduced that charities needed to improve their subsequent communications with donors in order to firm up their commitment.