Unveiling the Power of the 10/20/70 Rule in Fundraising

What is the 10-20-70 Rule? Let's learn all about it!
March 29, 2022
Unveiling the Power of the 10/20/70 Rule in Fundraising

In the dynamic world of fundraising, balance is key. Today, we're diving into a powerful concept that can revolutionize the way organizations approach donor engagement: the 10/20/70 rule. Let's explore how this rule can guide us toward a more balanced and sustainable fundraising strategy.

Understanding the 10/20/70 Rule

At its core, the 10/20/70 rule provides a framework for donor distribution within an organization:

10% (give 60% of operating budget): Major Donors

20% (give 20%): Mid Tier Donors

70% (give 20%): “General File”

This rule highlights the importance of balancing donor engagement across different segments to ensure a healthy and sustainable fundraising model.

Focus on Where You Are Lopsided

The first step in leveraging the power of the 10/20/70 rule is to identify areas where your organization may be lopsided in donor distribution. Are you heavily reliant on major donors for the majority of your operating budget? Do you have a robust mid-tier donor program, or is it an area that needs growth? By identifying these areas, you can create a roadmap for achieving a more balanced donor portfolio.

Grow All Three Segments

Once you've identified areas of imbalance, the next step is to focus on growth across all three segments:

Major Donors (10%): While major donors may contribute a significant portion of your operating budget, it's essential to cultivate relationships with these donors strategically. Focus on stewardship, personalized engagement, and demonstrating impact to ensure continued support and loyalty.

Mid Tier Donors (20%): Mid-tier donors represent a critical segment of your donor base. They may not contribute as much individually as major donors, but their collective impact is significant. Invest in building relationships with these donors, providing them with meaningful engagement opportunities, and demonstrating the impact of their contributions.

“General File” (70%): While general file donors may give smaller amounts individually, their collective support is essential for the overall sustainability of your organization. Focus on donor retention, cultivating a culture of giving, and providing opportunities for general file donors to become more deeply engaged with your mission.

Your Goal: Achieving Balance for Sustainable Growth

Incorporating the principles of the 10/20/70 rule into your fundraising strategy can lead to more balanced and sustainable growth. By focusing on where you are lopsided and strategically growing all three donor segments, you can create a robust and resilient fundraising model that ensures the long-term success of your organization.