A metal storefront painted with hearts all over it, up and down, as a repeated pattern of hearts.
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Biggest Lesson From 2016’s Trump Bump – Donor Appreciation

A metal storefront painted with hearts all over it, up and down, as a repeated pattern of hearts.

Giving USA Report on Philanthropy

Here are the big take-aways from the Giving USA Report for 2016 philanthropy.

  • 1.4% increase in overall giving (more on that below).
  • 390B – total charitable giving in the US in 2016. WOWZERS!
  • 74% comes from Individual Donors, making major gift programs more important than ever.
  • Corporate Giving has not reached levels of the past since the economic downturn in 2008.
    Corporate giving is more tied to sponsorships and marketing departments and less about CSR (corporate social responsibility).
  • Foundation Giving is at an all-time high. This, too, is great news.
  • Charitable Giving is always at about 2.1% gross domestic product – that is still the case, thankfully.

The “Trump Bump” factor tells us that donor retention is critical, especially to smaller organizations. (Click to tweet)

The increase in giving THIS year (2016) was due to the smaller donors. The “Trump Bump” has resulted in more individual donors getting activated and more volunteers being inspired to give. Many small donors have leapt to the cause because of Federal dollars going away or being threatened. Many federal grants have been pulled to go through another review process.

The biggest challenge as a result of this “Trump Bump” is donor retention.
Donor loyalty programs are super important in 2017 & 2018. Organizations need to be all over their new donors. Love them up! Do you know why?

  • Only 1 in 5 new donors renews their gift the next year.
  • And, online donors are less likely to renew the second year than paper donors.

5 Easy Donor Appreciation Ideas:

    • Make your thank you letter memorable. It’s time to revisit the same old boring tax acknowledgement letter and change it into something that becomes more meaningful to your donor.
    • Let them know how you’ve used their money. While this might seem obvious, it’s not instinctual for many. There is nothing better than transparency when talking with donors.
    • Tell them about their impact – – – using real numbers. For example, 15 teenagers were able to attend the intensive summer camp experience for budding entrepreneurs. Or, 350 homeless individuals were fed over the coldest winter months because of donors like you…, etc.
  • Invite your donors to come and see programs in action. First hand knowledge is more powerful than anything you could possibly describe. Create opportunities for your donors to cultivate their own stories from experiencing your programs in person.
  • Send new donors a welcome package. This package could include things like:
    • A brochure about your organization or specific programs
    • Calendar of events or new program launches
    • Volunteer opportunities that are on-going
    • Invitation to experience a personal tour
    • Invitation to an upcoming open house where they can actually see the work in action

Photo: Heart Wall by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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