By Sarah B Lange under Fundraising, Individual Donors on April 29, 2021

Did you know that individual giving went up 10.6% last year?

Yup – in the midst of pandemic, people were more generous than ever.

And it’s not a fluke – individual giving has risen in 4 of the last 5 years!

In 2019, US nonprofits received $449.64 BILLION in contributions.

INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTIONS accounted for 69% of those dollars – or $309.66 BILLION!

Another 10% ($43.21 BILLION) was contributed to nonprofits via bequests.

This money isn’t coming from the millionaires and billionaires, either — 85% of people who give to charity make less than $60,000 per year!

And people generally give to between 5-10 nonprofits per year!

This is good news for us – it means generous donors are down the street, around the corner, and across town.

It means that the majority of people we meet are already contributing to organizations like yours. You don’t have to train or convince them to donate – you simply have to invite them to join your cause.

I hear you asking… “Ok, but how do you do that?”

Here are 5 tips for cutting through the noise to reach your donors (and perspective donors):

  1. Be consistent. Set up a communications schedule and stick to it. Reaching out only once/week is better than sending things out on at random intervals.
  2. Use multiple channels. People are bombarded with information (think of your own inbox – mine makes me break into hives!) – reaching out to them. This increases your chances that they’ll receive what you’re sending.
  3. Curate content that matters to your stakeholders. Not sure what that is? Ask them! Sending people a short survey to find out what kind of information they want to receive, what kind of stories they want to hear, and which social media channels they’re on will help you craft effective content that reaches them where they’re hanging out! It might also help you land some new donors.
  4. Use Message Marketing techniques to craft an emotionally-compelling message that will crack your donors’ hearts wide open. Given that philanthropy is a heart-centered activity, tapping into their emotions is crucial in securing a meaningful gift!
  5. Share your results! Brag away! Donors and funders are supporting you because they want to make the world a better place by helping you help the people, animals or environmental cause that your organization serves. Be sure to let them know how they’re the heroes of your story!

If you want to learn more about how to cut through the noise and connect effectively with your donors, join me on May 8th from 9:30 – 12:30 EST for my new workshop: Individual Donor Work During COVID-19: Crafting an Effective Approach! In this 3-hour workshop, you’ll learn how to engage donors in an effective and meaningful way, and invite new donors to join the cause.

Even if you can’t attend in person, go ahead and register – we’ll be sending out a recording on the Monday following the workshop! To learn more and register, click here.


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