9 Individual Donor Giving Trends

Despite the need for major gifts and foundation support, nonprofits still depend on the contributions they receive from individual donors, from that $25 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 current trend are you noticing among your donors? Please offer your comment below.

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About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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