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Major study proves that growing supporter loyalty increases income


  • About Loyalty study sets out first definitive case for investing in the supporter experience

  • Results prove a one-point increase in loyalty leads to 20% more income (over 3yrs)

  • First ever measure of supporter loyalty enables charities to proactively grow loyalty

  • RSPCA states “This report provides a breakthrough in understanding…”

We are proud to announce that through our research we can now provide irrefutable evidence that investing in an excellent supporter experience to grow charity supporter loyalty has a direct and quantifiable impact on people’s behaviour and increases income, donor retention and legacies.

This is the largest research study into the key drivers of supporter loyalty ever undertaken in this field. It takes in a decade of study and a new three-year research project analysing almost 50,000 donors from 12 well-known charities. As a result, for the first time, About Loyalty has been able to isolate the impact that communications have on donors’ loyalty, and quantify the impact this has on their future giving.

The results prove that an increase of just one point in supporter loyalty leads to:

· 20% more income over three years

· 15% more retained donors over three years, and

· 9% more people intending to leave a legacy

Putting this into context, for a supporter base of 70,000 donors over three years the charity could receive an additional £1million.

Commenting on the research, Tracey Pritchard, Director of Engagement and Income Generation at RSPCA said:

"This report provides a breakthrough in understanding how to increase supporter loyalty through developing their commitment, satisfaction and trust. Everyone responsible for creating fundraising strategy and assigning budget needs to understand that an investment in growing the loyalty of existing supporters is as important as their investment into acquiring new ones.”

During ten years of study, 20+ drivers of supporter loyalty have been identified and examined, boiling them down to the top ten. These ten drivers were the focus of research over the last three-year study and About Loyalty has quantified the impact they have on actual supporter giving.

This work identified the three drivers of emotional loyalty that are the most important for building behavioural loyalty across all causes and forms of charitable giving – the most important being commitment, closely followed by satisfaction and trust.

Based on this, About Loyalty has developed an overall measure – a Loyalty Score – for every individual donor in the study. For the first time it is possible to measure supporter loyalty and therefore to proactively grow loyalty, and ultimately grow income.

Roger Lawson, director and founder of About Loyalty, said:

“We’ve all known for many years that the way we make supporters feel directly impacts whether they’ll go on to support us again. But we’ve never been able to prove the relationship with future giving, or which emotions are the most powerful. This ground-breaking study proves just that.

“For charities that want to grow supporter loyalty and long-term income, these are essential insights that can and should be applied at the very heart of every supporter development programme.”

He adds:

“This research makes a definitive case for prioritising the growth of supporter loyalty through tangible evidence that growing loyalty grows giving. It could fundamentally change fundraising practice.

About Loyalty’s report also reveals how charities including The Woodland Trust, Barnardo’s, Shelter and Cancer Research UK have measured and taken action to grow supporter loyalty, demonstrating how these insights can be translated into practical action and results.

About Loyalty launched its new research report on Monday 13th June 2022 in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Fundraising (CIOF) in a free one-hour webinar briefing.

Daniel Fluskey, director of policy and communications at the CIOF introduced the research, acknowledging its importance for moving fundraising forward.

The full report is available as a free download - The definitive case for growing supporter loyalty.

For more information or to discuss this research in more detail, maybe its relevancy to your own specific fundraising programme, please don't hesitate to contact us:

Roger Lawson

Roger: 07929 208 848

Richard Spencer Richard: 07703 483 220

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