Do You Know Your Donor Attrition Rate?

by Harvey McKinnon on June 10th, 2021
Your donor attrition rate is the rate at which donors do not renew their gifts each year, expressed as a percentage of all active donors in a given year.
Why it’s important
Monitoring this number (especially for each channel) helps you know what percentage of your donor file you need to replace each year through donor acquisition, or hang on to through better donor stewardship. A high attrition rate indicates that you need to improve your program.
How to calculate
A. Count how many donors gave a gift in Year 1 (A).
B. Count how many of these donors gave a gift in the following year, Year 2 (B).
C. Divide B by A to get C.
D. Subtract C from 100 to get D, and express as a percentage.
Number of donors
who gave a gift
in Year 1
Number of donors
from Year 1 who
gave again in Year 2
Divide B by A Subtract C from
100 and express
as a percentage
5,000 4,000 80 20%
Donor Attrition Rate 20%

If you’re interested in learning about how HMA can help you reduce your attrition rate please get in contact with us at

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