A retention rate is defined as the percentage rate at which something is maintained over a period of time. In fundraising terms, the retention rate is the percentage of donors that your organization keeps or renews or gives again (i.e. maintains) from time period to another. There is not a "retention report" available in The Raiser's Edge. However, a simple rate can be calculated using Query:

Note: The opposite, a donor attrition rate, can be also be calculated. Please refer to How to calculate the donor attrition rate.


The examples below are based on a scenario of:
  • Last Year is July 2015 through June 2016
  • This Year is July 2016 through June 2017

    Follow these steps:
    • Create a static, constituent query of constituents who gave Last Year. Run the query and note the number of keys generated (a popup with this number will appear when running or saving a static query), which is the number of constituents selected.
    In the example, on the Criteria tab, select Gifts > Gift Date between 7/1/2015 and 6/30/2016. Let's say this generates 273 keys. We'll call this number 'Last Year'.
    In the example, on the Criteria tab, select Gifts > Gift Date between 7/1/2016 and 6/30/2017. On the Records Processing tab, mark the Select from query checkbox and browse to and select last year's query. Let's say this generates 196 keys. We'll call this number 'This Year'. (This is the number of donors that you retained.)
    • Calculate the donor retention rate by using the formula:
      • (This Year / Last Year) * 100 = Retention Rate

    The formula looks like this and using our examples:
    FormulaExample
    ( 'This Year' / 'Last Year' ) * 100 = 'Retention Rate'(196 / 273) * 100 = 71.79%

    From our example, this organization had a 71.79% retention rate from Last Year to This Year. This means that 71.79% of the donors that gave Last Year gave again This Year.