Combating the Philanthropic Downturn

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By Impact Team

December 18, 2019

2019 has a lot of catching up to do, fundraising-wise.

Indeed, the 2019 Third Quarter Fundraising Report from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project shows growth over 2018 in only three metrics:

  • Revenue from gifts of under $250: +0.4 percent;
  • Overall donor retention: +0.7 percent; and
  • Recaptured donors (donors who gave one year, then stopped giving, then gave again in a subsequent year): +1.8 percent.

But that’s where the good news ends. Released just before Giving Tuesday, the report shows a 4.6% decrease in total revenue to charities compared to the same period last year and a 3.6% decline in the number of donors. What’s even more troubling though, is that the sharpest decline is among the best donors.  Major gifts are down 5.2 percent compared to 2018.

For most organizations, year-end campaigns have already been planned – and many fundraisers are crossing their fingers for a strong year end to right the ship.  But it’s not too soon to start talking to the rest of your fundraising team about unique strategies to stay on track for your budget in the new year.

Here are a few ideas for playing catch up in your organization:

Add a telemarketing to your next mail campaign for mid-level donors. The calls will generate gifts and drive money in from the mailing.

  • Get your gift officers in front of donors. Now is not the time to cut back on travel expenses because donors who are loved more, give more.
  • Get creative with reinstatement campaigns. Focus on bringing donors back, especially those with past gifts of $100 or more.
  • Add an extra appeal to your very best donors, if your schedule allow.

Or, give us a call and we’ll help you brainstorm other options!

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