Every year, Giving USA releases a report on philanthropy and giving in the United States. The annual report, released on June 18, 2019, gives comprehensive highlights on charitable giving trends in the United States. Due in part to the tax law change or volatile December 2018 market, overall giving is down 1.7%. On the individual giving side, it has also dropped by 3.4%. So what does this mean for your nonprofit? Now is the time to re-evaluate your strategy to better engage your donors so you are more stable for the future. Follow these three steps to stay ahead of the decreasing giving trends.
1) Know Where You Have Been
The number one thing to do is to dig in and analyze past performance. Understanding how you have fared will help you understand where you want to go and set goals to get you there.
- How was this past fiscal year?
- Did you reach your goals?
- Did you see increases in average gift?
- Did you see increases in retention rate?
- Did you see increases in the number of donors?
Once you’ve answered these questions – it’s time to act! Perhaps try A/B testing to experiment with new strategies to increase giving for your organization.
2) Know What You Are Good At
- When fundraising, what is your BEST practice or trait?
- What is the BEST fundraising activity that your organization does each year?
Is it thanking your donors? Is it organizing events? Is it staying mission-focused?
Think about which fundraising practices you feel is your, and your organization’s, best skill. Do an internal audit to evaluate what your most successful fundraising practice is. The things that you are most skilled in and have the most knowledge in are the best and most important practices to lean into and expand upon. Once you have optimized your best skills, you can try new things to expand your skill set.
3) Know Where You Want To Go
- What can our organization do that it hasn’t done already?
- How can we increase average gifts, donors, and donor retention?
Once you’ve established how your organization has performed and what you are good it, it’s time to determine next steps. Use the strong skill-sets you’ve determined as a person and as an organization to set your goals. Start small, test your new initiatives, and build on that. For example, let’s say that you want a healthier lifestyle. At the end of the day, what is the good of driving past the gym if you’re never going to step foot in it? When it comes to fundraising (and professional growth) you have to be disciplined and strategic, Step out of your comfort zone, try new things, and build some “muscle” so you can get the most out of everything you do.
There is no better time than to start today!
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