As we begin to feel the warmer breezes of Spring and the sense of renewal it brings with it, it seems a great time to reflect on what we learned—and not just say “Good riddance!” to a most unusual year. We may just find that there are some lessons we learned as we pivoted during the pandemic which we can carry forward to help boost relationships, efficiency, and even fundraising results.
“Anyone who has been involved in philanthropy, either as a donor, volunteer, or development professional, knows the joy that comes from giving generously or serving as an intermediary to a generous gift.” – Daniel A. Schipp, Senior Consultant, JGA
Since March 2020, our motto at JGA has been “generosity is not cancelled.” So many things in our lives have been cancelled due to the pandemic, but generosity is not one of them. Donors have not stopped sharing their gifts of time, talent, and treasure. We have seen this generosity in support of campaigns, days of giving, and ongoing operations, as well as a continued commitment to volunteerism – although the format has changed in a virtual world.
What does this mean for 2021? As you look toward continuing to raise philanthropic support for your mission in 2021, what will you do to set the stage for generosity to continue?
Last night President Trump signed the new economic stimulus package that provides $900 billion in emergency relief funds. Although the discussion has understandably focused on the $600 stimulus checks, there are also significant provisions associated with charitable giving and the nonprofit sector.
Keep in mind that these are not the primary reasons a donor makes a gift. Your mission matters the most. Tax planning affects how they give, not why.
You need to draft an appeal to your annual donors and prospects in the middle of this COVID-19 global pandemic, but you are worried your donors have a lot of other things on their mind right now (just like you do). How can they possibly think about giving when they are faced with challenges, concerns, and uncertainty? Yet, your donors are generous, and your mission relies on gaining their support—points that affirm now is not the time to stop fundraising.
In today’s headlines, stories of giving and volunteering win our hearts and attention. Philanthropy and the spirit behind it are bringing us together now, as much as ever. People are responding to positivity and calls to do and help. So, they are ready respond to your appeal for support—but, you must first connect with them.
What role will philanthropy play as your organization prepares to welcome students back to campus, host performances, open the doors to your museum or resume in-person gatherings at your place of worship?
If you have ventured out of the house, you have seen the modifications that businesses are making to welcome customers back – plexiglass at checkout counters and drive-through windows, signage to accommodate social distancing in lines and many other modifications.
Each of you needs to develop and implement plans to help protect your stakeholders as you re-open your doors.
The timeframe and requirements for each of you to resume operations will vary drastically based on location, size of the groups, type of activities and the demographics of your constituency. But, no matter the differences, much planning will be required. Have you considered how philanthropy can be a part of your re-opening plans?
A week ago Friday, I posted my first blog about COVID-19 and the impact it might have on nonprofit philanthropy. A lot has changed in the past week – seemingly by the hour. As you continue to navigate these complex waters, let’s first take a look at some historical data to see how philanthropy weathered the storm of other crises.
Unfortunately, there is no philanthropic data from the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, so we have to look at the next most relevant set of data. The research from Giving USA and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy help us understand how donors behave during a time of crisis and also during an economic downturn.
On April 2nd in San Antonio, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) will honor Dr. Paul Pribbenow, PH.D., CFRE, as Outstanding Fundraising Professional for 2019 at the International Conference on Fundraising.
This is one of those occasions when a “blog” just doesn’t provide enough space to say why this is such a great honor and why it’s so appropriate. The Outstanding Fundraising Professional award is the highest honor that AFP bestows upon one of its members, recognizing effective, creative and stimulating leadership, as well as the practice and promotion of ethical fundraising.
This is the time of year when some attention gets focused on giving in America. The Giving USA Foundation will release next week its report on the latest facts and trends. JGA is a member of Giving USA and the Giving Institute and we are pleased to help promote awareness of the upcoming report.
As we do so this year, we should pay special attention to the trend lines – and what they mean not only for giving and volunteering but for our nation. From my perspective, there are mixed signs – and some real concern.
Have you looked at your overall and new donor retention rates lately? If your organization is like most other nonprofit organizations, there is ample room for improvement. According to the 2017 Association of Fundraising Professionals’ (AFP) 2017 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report, the average overall donor retention rate for the nearly 11,000 nonprofits participating in the study was 45%. The average new donor retention rate was 23%.
As noted in the AFP report, for the past 10 years, the average overall donor retention rate has been less than 50%.
How can your organization move the needle on donor retention? A good place to start is with donor stewardship.