The number of people cancelling direct debit charity donations has “skyrocketed” since the start of credit crunch, according to new figures released today (March 10).
The figures, compiled by direct debit processing house RapidData, show that from the time of the collapse of Northern Rock bank in September 2007 onwards, monthly cancellation rates have soared.
Cancellation rates had been falling until summer 2007, the figures show, before a sharp rise took cancellations to a peak of 68% more people cancelling in December 2008, compared to pre-credit crunch levels.
The figures are particularly worrying to a sector that heavily relies on recruiting direct debit donors via face to face “chugging” and direct marketing.
RapidData managing director Scott Gray says the figures should act as a warning to charities to focus on maintaining current regular donors, rather than just putting all their energy into recruiting new committed givers.
“We’ve looked very closely at these figures and what they suggest is that the monthly cancellations rates during 2008 were so high that they were not likely to have been subject to the same factors influencing cancellations before the credit crunch hit,” he says.
He adds: “There have been a lot of surveys suggesting how donors intend to revise their giving during the recession but this tells us what they actually are doing.”