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Posted on in Fundraising

Fewer Americans are giving to charity – but the ones who do, are giving more.

That’s the tale told in a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy article exploring the “vanishing” donor base.

How are fundraising-savvy nonprofits dealing with it? The ones looking hard at current returns are concentrating more and more of their efforts on major gifts – those donations that can have substantial impact on the bottom line.

But nonprofits that are also focused on the future, are spending equal energy courting mid-level donors – those $250, $500 donors whose loyalty will grow over time.

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Posted on in Fundraising

The numbers are out, and they say: Full speed ahead.

The annual Giving USA report on 2014 contributions has just been released, and it’s clear – we’re back to pre-recession giving.

From a 5.7% increase in individual giving, to a whopping 15.5% increase in bequest donations (powered in part by the $1 billion estate of former Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson), the climate for fundraising – from individuals, foundations, and corporations – is strong.

And while the largest increase was in giving to educational institutions (due to several mega-gifts), donations to other types of nonprofits rose as well, as a result of more run-of-the-mill contributions.

What does this mean for those of us tilling the field on a daily basis?

That the money is out there – as long as we find our natural donor constituency. 


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Posted on in Fundraising

For the last several decades, Americans have consistently given an average of 3% of their income to charity.

Year-in, year-out, no matter how bullish or dismal the economy, no matter how clever the fundraising gimmick (including publicly cascading ice cubes), the total ratio of giving to income has remained roughly the same.

But according to a recent deep-dive analysis by the Chronicle of Philanthropy into the giving patterns of taxpayers who itemize their deductions (about 80% of taxpayers), that average belies a critical difference in giving between rich and poor: while the rich give more money overall, the poor reach deeper into their pockets to make a difference.

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