Charities should recruit older face-to-face fundraisers who would target female professionals rather than young people, say the authors of a report on donor recruitment and retention.
The ideal target for a face-to-face fundraiser is a 38.5-year-old female professional, according to research by Daryl Upsall Consulting International and Owen Watkins, a face-to-face fundraising specialist at Unicef International.
It says this demographic, referred to as "Felicity Donor", offers the best lifetime value. But young fundraisers tend to try to recruit young donors, whose attrition rate is higher.
Daryl Upsall, chief executive of the consulting firm, said: "To maximise success in recruiting this older donor group, fundraisers would need to mirror the target demographic themselves. As a result of growing unemployment in the recession, there will be a wider range of people applying for this sort of work, and charities could benefit from this."
Upsall and Watkins will unveil the new donor profile at the International Fundraising Congress next month. They will say targeting the right kind of donor at the start is one of the most effective ways to maximise the success of face-to-face fundraising.
Mick Aldridge, chief executive of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, said: "This is a fascinating bit of research, but it will be difficult to put the recommendation into practice.
"These 38-year-old professional women will be capable of complaining and motivated to do so if they feel they are being disproportionately targeted by face-to-face fundraisers."