As the second half of the year begins, many clubs begin to rethink their end-of-year fundraising strategies, as this is the time when most donations are made.
Two new giving reports provide insight into what donors are thinking and how organizations can best connect with them. The first, Giving USA 2022: The Annual Philanthropy Report, looks at trends over the past year. The data on donors in 2021 may give a hint of what could happen in the last six months of 2022.
“In 2021, Americans have continued to give more generously than they did before the pandemic,” Laura McDonald, chair of the Giving USA Foundation, said in a press release. “However, the growth in donations has not kept pace with inflation, creating challenges for many nonprofits. In 2021 many donors returned to their preferred causes and many of the sectors that struggled in 2020 bounced back in 2021.”
That give USA The report also notes that the stock market rebound coincided with the richest Americans making some big gifts. Mega-Gift donations, defined as gifts of $450 million or more, will reach $15 billion in 2021. Given this trend toward more extravagant giving during times of economic gains, a decline in markets could signal a decline in large giving.
Additionally, give USA Grants to foundations increased 9.3 percent and grants to nonprofits increased 23.5 percent in 2021.
Trust and connection are important
A second new report from OneCause, The Giving Experience Study, examines social donors — those who “participate in auction events, peer-to-peer fundraisers, occasions/challenges, and fundraising/awareness days.” The survey found that social donors crave trust, connection and immediacy the most.
“While ease, mission, and impact remain important drivers of social giving, trust, personal connection, and immediacy have emerged as key motivators for the first time in 2022,” the report reads. “Social donors expect nonprofit organizations to be reassured that donations are being used wisely and that organizations are acting with integrity.”
Trust and connectedness were also highlighted when people ranked the reasons for their statements. The highest ranked reasons were: I trust the organization to do the right thing/use the money wisely (59 percent); I am interested in the person who asked me for a donation (58 percent); It was easy (58 percent); I was able to donate immediately (58 percent); and I care deeply about the organization’s mission (57 percent).
For associations, this study underscores the importance of developing networks and connections. For example, OneCause found that 54 percent of social donors had heard about the fundraising opportunity from a friend, family member, or colleague; compared to just 24 percent who found out about it through an advertisement and 23 percent through direct contact from the organization.
The report included some other key takeaways about social donors:
Personally preferred. No wonder: social donors are social. “In-person events are perceived as being of higher quality than virtual events, and attendees are more likely to want to attend again next year,” the report said. According to the report, 50 percent are very comfortable with in-person fundraising events, 35 percent are somewhat comfortable, and 15 percent are not comfortable or not sure they are comfortable. The report suggests that it is important for companies to continue offering virtual options.
Donors are more diverse. The social donors surveyed in this study were quite diverse (ie, 59 percent White, 19 percent Black, 17 percent Hispanic, and 4 percent Asian American/Pacific Islander). A significant proportion of all groups reported that they had donated more money in 2022. Black and Hispanic donors had the highest proportions, at 53 percent and 47 percent, respectively, who said they gave more money in 2022. This suggests the importance of reaching out to diverse donors as part of fundraising efforts.
Management is still important. The report added that stewardship — the practice of staying in touch with donors and keeping them informed of how the organization is using donations — is critical. “Feeling that a donation makes a difference remains the number one reason why social donors of all generations choose to donate again,” the report says. “Social donors say that organizations that make an impact, make a good impact: show who is being helped, give specific and concrete examples of where the money is going, are transparent, and regularly communicate results.”
What types of donor trends is your organization seeing throughout the year? Share in the comments.
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