publication date: Sep 15, 2011
agency Rapidata Services Plc
that the cancellation rate of monthly debits to charities reached an-all time
high of 4.58% in August, the worst for that month since the company began
tracking regular giving trends eight years ago in 2003. The figure even exceeds the August 2008
mid-recession figure of 4.4%.
should remember that Britain is one of the most generous nations and we should
not be disheartened," says Rapidata's managing director Scott Gray
. "We've been here before and seen recovery, but it means
being proactive. Charities should be
looking at their current activities and asking whether they are doing
everything they can to minimize cancellations and attrition. . . . . If you are
stalling a stewardship programme or have communications, appeals or campaigns
on hold, it's time to act."
Consumers tighten their financial belts
An equally great
concern, says Gray, is that August was the fourth consecutive month that
cancellations have increased. He believes the trend reflects the recent sharp
economic downturn and threat of double-dip recession. "Consumers are tightening
their personal finances still further under uncertain economic conditions that
are unlikely to improve very quickly," he explains.
indeed a rough month in Britain. The economy grew just 0.2% in the second
quarter, and the market remained volatile.
A survey conducted on behalf of the European Commission showed British
consumer confidence fell in August to its lowest level since April. Another study showed that retail sales fell
at their fastest pace in over a year in August. Even spending on food - not normally
affected - fell in that month.
reverses 18-month healthy trend
Earlier results had been much less worrisome, Gray explains. The
cancellation cycle for 2010/11 (up to and including March) closely followed the
pre-recession pattern of cancellations - very different from what he calls "the
sky-high pattern" seen at the height of the recession in 2008/09.
A healthy trend
appeared to be developing in the second half of 2009, when cancellation rates
had already dropped dramatically from their recessionary high. Figures for
2010/11 showed that cancellation rates continued on this downward trend
throughout the rest of 2010 and into 2011.
quarter of 2011 started on trend, showed a slightly higher than expected peak
for February, but fell again in March to a low rate heading into the second quarter,
and continued to sink in subsequent months.
The full Rapidata
Charity Direct Debit Tracking Report 2011
is available as a free download from Rapidata's website www.rapidataservices.com
more information contact Jenny Turner, Turner PR - +44
(0)1932 859 617 or +44 (0)7940 472 653 firstname.lastname@example.org