Data on Fundraising

Fundraising decreased 5.6% in many nonprofits … how about yours?

Data is telling us that Fundraising is unsurprisingly weak this year…

“The Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP)” has released its results for Q1 2022, and the data reveals that the number of donors decreased by 5.6% (-5.6%) from the first quarter of 2022 compared to the first quarter of 2021, and the donor retention rate decreased by 6.2% year-over-year.

As a reference, you will recall that last year’s 1st Quarter results for 2021 showed a 13.6% increase in donor retention. As Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA, president and CEO of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Foundation for Philanthropy says, the high level of growth in giving that occurred from 2019-2021 was unlikely to continue, and so these numbers reflect the retrenchment in donor participation.

The MAIN reason why this is happening is because we are returning to normal and away from the COVID-giving trends from the last two years.

Here is WHY you and other organizations may not be experiencing a growth in donors this past year.

You aren’t seeing growth in donor giving because you don’t have a strategy or a plan for growing your philanthropic community and raising funds. And yes, those are two different projects.

Philanthropy is an emotion that you nurture in your community. We BUILD philanthropy through cultivating a philanthropic community. Building a philanthropic community is NOT fundraising. It is a time-consuming, resource-heavy, investment into attracting and nurturing prospective and current donors. Building a philanthropic community is an engagement project in shared experiences, shared purpose, shared resources, and the consistent and intentional communication you have with your community – every single day.  Watch our workshop on building your philanthropic community here. 

Fundraising is a series of projects that have tactics, measurable leading and lagging performance indicators, materials, tools, and outputs. It is a system, with processes, policy, procedures, people responsible for carrying out the actions. It asks for investments from your philanthropic community along a fundraising funnel: from Acquiring new donors to Retaining donors, to Converting some donors into larger investors and endowed or planned gifts. There is no shortcut in this funnel from new donor to major gift and there is no fundraising without an ask- or two, or seven. Our short explainer video can help you visualize the Fundraising Funnel here.

Both of these critical features in your nonprofit require a STRATEGY. COVID-giving trends may be gone, but strategy is still so important, we can help you get started on one now!

Read more on “The Fundraising Effectiveness Project” here.

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