RetentionFundraising-CraverI spent Labor Day morning reading about the labor of fundraising. I am so glad I picked up Roger Craver’s book, Retention Fundraising! These three hours will be with me for years.

I’m not new to this. I’ve been studying donor retention for over a decade. My first product, “Creating Donor Evangelists” leveraged studies done by Gallup and for commercial organizations like Build-A-Bear Workshop to show that donor relations was the most important part of fundraising. But Roger’s book showed me aspects about retaining donors that will be affecting my work for years.

A product of years of research

To write this book, Roger immersed himself in three years of study, including a 3-year study of 250 organizations that empirically shows the way to retain donors. Fortunately, Roger keeps his writing style incredibly readable!

He builds a great case for the importance of keeping donors year after year. There are statistics, dollar amounts, and charts. Lots of information that will help even a hardened CEO “get” why investing in donor relations isn’t an “expendable” option.

The “why” and the “how”

If you’ve been around fundraising for the past few years, you’ve heard that it’s important retain donors. And to look at the “lifetime value” of donors. But you rarely are told HOW to measure that. The search is over. Roger includes the formulas for discovering how many donors you’re retaining, how much each donor is worth, and even what aspects of your fundraising program donors care about — and what they don’t care about at all.

While you should do the work to find out about your donors, even if you don’t, this book tells you the seven best areas to focus your retention efforts.

A wonderful resource

This book is terrific. I found myself underlining sentences, circling paragraphs, and marking up pages. I even found myself pulling my phone out to store some pages in my Evernote account so they’d be available for ready access!

Retention Fundraising is available on Amazon. The accompanying resource website is at

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