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Want something to distract you from election woes? We’ve got some good news for you. Things are looking up for your year-end giving plans. Here’s what you need to know to create your giving plan masterpiece as 2020 finally comes to an end.
Donors, Donations, and Drives
The Fundraising Effectiveness Project just released its report for the second quarter of 2020 and, let’s just say, there is definitely a pandemic boom.
- 7.2% increase in donors
- 7.5% increase in donations
- 1.8% increase in retention
- 12.6% increase in new donors
This isn’t just mid and major donors. Through Q2, we have an 8.1% increase in mid-level ($250-$999) and a 6.4% increase in major ($1,000+). There’s also a 19.2% increase in general donors (under $250).
It’s safe to say that people are responding to the increased needs because of COVID-19. Many organizations have found relevant ways to communicate their pandemic response — and it’s turning into connections with new donors.
Finally, we stare down the mountain in the last two months of the year — two very important months for nonprofits. Historically, 31% of annual giving occurs in December. That holiday spirit gets to everybody.
Even with the success of the first two quarters, marketers still don’t know what to expect for the remainder of the year. If the pandemic and the uncertain election and fallout weren’t enough, 202o might yet surprise us. The general sense of “what-the-heck-does-2020-still-have-in-store,” leaves people guessing, “how’s this all gonna work between now and year-end?”
So let’s make a game-plan.
RKD Group and The Nonprofit Alliance decided to ask donors what they think — and how they plan to give in the remainder of the year. With our research partner, we surveyed a panel of donors that give $100+ or more annually, which makes up 97% of individual giving in the U.S.
Here’s what we learned:
- Regardless of what they’ve given year to date, the majority of donors are planning to give the same or more than what they’ve traditionally given in December.
- 42% of large donors, who gave $1,200+ in 2019, say they plan to give more in December than in the previous year
- Xennials plan to give more. 67% of the younger half of Gen X, also called Xennials or the Oregon Trail generation, plan to give more in the remainder of the year.
- The more concerned about the health impact of COVID, the more likely someone is to give.
- Among those who said they have an above-average concern about COVID-19 and its health impact, 48% will give more in the remainder of the year.
The full report is available for download here.
What does this mean for nonprofits in how they approach year-end 2020?
First, don’t pull back. Don’t go dark. People are craving connection and want to see and know that they can still make an impact through charitable support.
Second, make an effort for intentionality and relevance in your relationships. Avoid the temptation to move away from your mission toward current events—rather, focus on ways to put your mission first.
Third, increase the number of ways and times that you say, “thank you.” Historic trends in the shrinking number of households that give have heightened a need for good stewardship. If there was ever a time to make it real and make it count—this is the time.
Lastly, stay on top of your data. Watch your KPIs. Communicate early and often on how you’re tracking with indicators compared to your past year-end performance.
This year has been a wild ride for nonprofits, so here’s hoping for a strong finish to 2020 for each and every one of you.
Author Bio: Justin McCord is the Vice President of SMarketing at RKD Group, a leading fundraising and marketing services provider to hundreds of nonprofit organizations. Justin oversees brand management, business development and content marketing for RKD, and he hosts the award-winning Groupthinkers podcast. He is also a regular speaker and contributor to nonprofit marketing events, helping shine a light on current issues and progressive strategies to align channels and improve connection.