It Takes A Village
Taking the Pulse
- 53% of respondents cited donor acquisition as one of their top three fundraising challenges.
- 69% of respondents receiving major gifts expect to see a fundraising increase from this source in 2022.
- 70% of respondents had at least partially resumed in-person donor meetings and/or events as of November 2021.
- 62% of respondents reported that diversity, equity, and/or inclusion are part of their organization’s strategic plans for future fundraising priorities.
The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI has released three new components of research in its The Giving Environment series. This second body of research within the series includes results of donor focus groups, a donor communication experiment, and a donor survey, providing new insights about demonstrating donor impact, fostering empathy and the relative strength of competing donor communications channels. Focus group participants indicated that they are more likely to give to organizations to which they have a prior relationship or familiarity based on community and personal connections. Donors also reported that they intend to keep their giving rates consistent in the years ahead but are evaluating where their money would maximize their impact — especially in their local communities. Against the backdrop of both the COVID-19 pandemic and movements for racial justice, participant responses suggest that donors may prioritize giving to organizations focused on addressing the root causes of systemic and societal issues. Additionally, focus group participants expressed a greater desire for non-profit organizations to communicate the impact of programs and services and to leverage images and video as a means of demonstrating impact. Researchers also explored whether different types of fundraising messages cause people to connect with a non-profit and why. The experiment found that the video was the most effective of the channels tested. When compared to the control group who read the narrative language, the video generated a 43% increase in the connection rate among its viewers.
- Growth in giving by the ultra wealthy outpaced that from other sources in 2020.
- North America accounted for more than half of all global ultra wealthy donations, at $91 billion, which reflects the region’s elevated wealth and its long standing tradition of public giving.
- Europe’s ultra wealthy gave a total of $52 billion in 2020, equating to a third of global UHNW giving.
- The report also reveals key differences in giving by region, across age, gender, industry affiliation, source of wealth and more.
- Despite the economic headwinds in the first year of the pandemic, over 60% of companies donated more in 2020 than they had budgeted.
- In 2021, 97% donated the same or more than they had budgeted for the year.
- The average crypto donation was approximately $10,455, as opposed to the average cash donation of $128 — a 82x greater value per transaction.
- The total annual volume of crypto donations via The Giving Block grew by 1,558%.
- The number of non-profits accepting crypto donations on The Giving Block grew by 900%.
- As a crypto fundraising tool, the non-fungible token (NFT) may be the single more significant development from the year, with more than $12.3M in donations made from known NFT projects.
Charity Navigator, the world’s largest and most-utilized independent non-profit evaluator, is partnering with Grapevine and Philanthropy Together to provide access to their Global Giving Circle Directory — a listing of 2,500 independent groups of individuals (“giving circles”) collaborating financially to support philanthropic causes and charitable organizations. Giving circles are part of a growing movement that has tripled over the last decade. Since 2000, giving circles have engaged at least 150,000 people and donated as much as $1.29 billion to non-profits, and are expected to engage 350,000 donors by 2025, giving another $1 billion or more to causes around the world. Charity Navigator users can search for and connect with groups of donors to support causes and non-profits collectively. Individuals can now use the Global Giving Circle Directory on Charity Navigator to discover groups of like-minded donors to connect with to give back to communities in need.
Non-Profit Hiring Edge
- Non-profits employ interesting people.
- Unparalleled growth opportunities exist.
- Employees can gain new skill sets quickly.
- The structures are often less hierarchical.
- The opportunity to change the world is around every corner.
- Non-profits value the business skills that many people have.
- They’re mission driven.
- Non-profits have highly relational cultures.
- There’s a sense of community.
- There’s low-hanging fruit when it comes to restructuring compensation.
- Keep your data clean. Make sure you update your data regularly and use unique codes for each of your donor segments if possible. This ensures that anyone with access to your database knows your segments and strategies.
- Don’t leave out lapsed donors! Oftentimes you can create one appeal for active donors and then tweak it to send to those who recently stopped giving. This helps you reconnect with those donors and, if they give again, you can keep track of how they give to inform your future efforts.
- Tailor appeals to different groups of donors. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. Studies show that personalization has a positive impact on how donors perceive an organization and influences whether they give. Consider testing different messages to learn which works best with each group and apply those lessons to future appeals to foster donor loyalty.
On Bookshelf: The New Corporate Citizen
It’s always exciting when former colleagues publish books. Cara Nichols, Founder, threefolded, who directed community affairs and the foundation for the pioneering end-to-end multicloud technology services company, Rackspace, has released The New Corporate Citizen, in which she gives business leaders the playbook Rackspace used to create intentional change in their community by connecting with local schools. Sharing tough lessons Rackspace learned along the way, you’ll see exactly how you can begin to enrich the lives of students and their families — no big checks required. More than ever, businesses and organizations want to stand for something. They want to plant a flag in their community and work toward solving real problems. This goes beyond writing a check — it’s about establishing an identity independent of your products and services; one that aligns with the values of both your customers and employees. When you want to make an impact, the hard part is knowing how to get started. That’s where Rackspace found itself in 2008 when the company moved into a dead mall on the “wrong” side of San Antonio. They wanted to be a good citizen of the neighborhood, yet they were unsure where to start. Fast-forward more than 10 years, and the Rackspace Foundation has profoundly impacted the lives of thousands of families. It was always both productive and enjoyable to collaborate with Cara on innovative projects to improve the quality of life in San Antonio. We are especially proud of the summer camps we made possible for at-risk kids to build robots. We’re not surprised at all that her book is proving to be a big hit.
A New March Madness
Millie, a social impact platform designed to make charitable giving fun, accessible and impactful, is launching Giving Madness, a first-of-its-kind gamified platform that brings teams together and closes a pressing non-profit funding gap. Inspired by elements of March Madness, Giving Madness allows corporate teams to build their own “giving brackets” where employees play to give. It is a giving tournament that reinforces a culture of philanthropy by bringing people together around an activity we all know and love. It consists of a one-week or four-week bracket-style giving tournament structured like March Madness. Companies start by adding 16 non-profits to their giving bracket and contributing to a donation pool. Employees then vote to advance non-profits they love through four rounds of “games.” After the championship game, the pool gets divided up and donated proportionately, depending on where the non-profits land. Every non-profit will receive some amount of funds, with the champion receiving the most.
Quiz: America's Top Donors
Stratagems is published monthly by Jim Eskin, Founder of Eskin Fundraising Training, LLC. We offer workshops and customized training sessions for board members, staff and volunteers of non-profit organizations of all kinds and sizes. For details about our services and information, or to find out how to schedule a training session for your organization, visit our website. Follow our events on Facebook, and read more articles about philanthropy on our LinkedIn page.
Jim Eskin, Founder
Eskin Fundraising Training
ANSWERS TO THIS MONTH’S QUIZ: 1=c, 2=d, 3=a, 4=e, 5=b