A recent article from Market Smart claims the number of nonprofit donors is lower than ever before. But is there evidence to support that claim?
The truth is, even if the number of donors is down, the amount of giving hit an all time high in 2017– passing the $400 billion mark. Although the number of individual donors may be declining for some charities, many of those same charities are seeing overall funds remain stable or increase.
Why? Because people in the US are giving even more than in the past. Generosity is increasing, not decreasing.
Many charities are seeing a refinement of their database. Their less devoted donors are attriting, while other donors are becoming stronger, more generous, and even lifelong advocates. There is a giving trend that shows donors consolidating who they give to – giving more money and more often to fewer organizations.
This can certainly can be bad for some charities, but overall, it’s a healthy trend in our opinion. It’s somewhat akin to the zen-ish question – would you rather have ten donors that give ten dollars each or two donors that give you fifty dollars each? Debatable for sure – but the reality is that if we can retain more donors for a longer period of time, even if we lose some donors in the process, we will have a much stronger database.
As a nonprofit leader, you should not worry about having fewer donors, but rather, focus on nurturing donors so that they become consistent, loyal, and long-term supporters that are zealous advocates. As a general rule, always strive to become one of your supporters’ top three favorite charities – if you are not in their top three, the likelihood of losing them increases. Developing a truly compelling story will foster deep connections with your donors and ensure that they want it to be among those they still support and not drop you from their list of favored charities.