We're going to start a new feature here on The NonProfit Times blog. Each week, we will post a management tip directly from our site here to the blog. The goal here is to not only get people more aware of this section of our site, but also to encourage discussion. It is our hope that our readers will give their insight into the tip, and whether they have had any success with it.
With the latest news about New Jersey considering mandatory disclosure requirements, I thought it would be appropriate to have this week's management tip be about donors. Specifically, this tip is about recent individual giving trends:
Despite the need for major gifts and foundation support, nonprofits still depend on the contributions they receive from individual donors, from that $5 check on up.
Speaking at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Fund Raising Day in New York 2011, Margaret Holman of Holman Consulting Inc. discussed trends that are holding in individual giving through the nonprofit sector. For example:
• Major donors continue to give, but they are narrowing their focus to fewer charities where they can make a bigger impact.
• People give when they have a sense of security and optimism about the future. The economic crash and rising health care costs have left few Americans with any sense of financial security.
• Lower-income people tend to be more generous than higher-income individuals.
• The most generous donors are more likely to give by mail and less likely than average to give online.
• More generous donors are more intentional about planning their support.
• Giving still happens because donors are involved with their organizations.
• Demographics still matter.
• People check out charities in the following ways: talking to someone who supports the charity, visiting a Website or searching the Internet, checking a watchdog organization or visiting the organization in person.
• Best practices are stay donor focused, keep it simple, develop relationships (don’t think of donors as wallets) and triage your donors quarterly for contact.
What are your thoughts on this? Have you noticed these trends as well recently? We'd love to hear your stories. If you are interested in reading more donor-related management tips, head on over to the NPT website.