The ‘New Look’ of Major Giving
THINK MORE BOLDY ABOUT ANNUAL GIFTS
Higher productivity, two-income households, lower taxes, more college-educated adults and lower inflation all are factors that have combined to produce new levels of affluence. In the past decade, affluence in the United States has increased at a phenomenal rate, enlarging an already under-tapped market of potential donors. Twenty percent of all American households are affluent -- defined as those individuals with an annual income of $75,000 or more, a median household income of $121,000 and a median net worth of $50,000.
ENCOURAGE LIFELONG DONOR LOYALTY
Focus on renewing and upgrading rather than on acquiring new donors. With life expectancies lengthening, a loyal donor can give for 50, 60 or even 70 more years. But, it requires a shift from being methodology driven to being donor driven. We’ll worry less about conducting annual appeals, special events and capital campaigns and listen more to how and when our donors want to give.
RECOGNIZING LIFE IS CYCLICAL, NOT LINEAR
As life has extended for many Americans, we don’t all go through various stages at the same time. Knowing when major changes -- i.e., parenting, empty nesting, grandparenting, retiring, etc. -- are taking place will provide charities with an opportunity to suggest special gifts to commemorate these special times.
Judith E. Nichols is a development practioner, author and president of Portland, Ore.-based consultancy New Directions in Philanthropy. She can be reached at email@example.com, or by visiting http://www.bonus-books.com/authorpage.asp?AuthorID=160.