Individual Giving

'Giving USA 2016': Breaking Down 'America's Most Generous Year Ever'
June 14, 2016 at 11:19 am

Charitable giving topped $373 billion in 2015, a 4 percent increase over 2014, according to "Giving USA 2016," the annual report published by Giving USA Foundation and produced by Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. The giving totals are the highest ever recorded for a single year. Don't have time to dig into the full report? No worries. We've compiled some of the highlights...

Are You Ready for People-Based Fundraising?
June 13, 2016 at 11:45 am

Three in every $4 are donated by individuals, according to Giving USA 2015: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2014. Given this statistic, it’s imperative that, as fundraisers, we master the principles of people-based marketing. The principles are based on the evolution of a single idea: By understanding the unique characteristics of a donor, we can build highly customized experiences that will drive increased giving, improved retention and enhanced donor satisfaction...

Fundraising Needs to Board the People Train
May 17, 2016 at 10:26 am

People are far more distracted than they were a decade ago, which means that even the most experienced fundraiser must continually evolve—something the industry has found difficult at times—and leverage new outlets to increase donations. Is it possible that our inability to adapt or unwillingness to change is a primary reason for our industry’s declining performance?...

'Fundraising Bright Spots' Highlights Organizations That Are Beating the Odds in Individual Giving
April 28, 2016 at 11:50 am

Successful fundraising isn’t just about money. It’s about relationships. The organizations that understand this have happy, repeat donors. So who’s doing well with individual giving? "Fundraising Bright Spots: Strategies and Inspiration From Social Change Organizations Raising Money From Individual Donors," sponsored by the Evelyn & Walter Hass Jr. Fund, explores some possibilities. The new report…

Why Do the Ultra Wealthy Give?
March 28, 2016 at 11:00 am

What motivates the ultra wealthy to give? Wealth-X conducted an Attitudes Survey in conjunction with Knight Frank to gain insights into the perspectives and behaviors of the ultra wealthy around wealth management, philanthropy, wealth transfer and more. The survey was based on the views of around 400 of the world’s leading private bankers and wealth…

Are You Just Plain Lazy?
February 18, 2016 at 11:12 am

A staffer responsible for donor relations at a mid-size community charity began our conversation by describing a fundraising program that, although fully functioning, is showing the early warning signs of real trouble. Stagnant gift size and a declining—albeit slowly—donor-renewal rate. Her concern was palpable. At an appropriate pause, I asked her what she thought the issues were. Her response was simple: “Our donors simply aren’t giving enough. They don’t understand the urgency of the work we’re doing.”...

A Catalyst for Fundraising Retention, Part 1
January 28, 2016 at 10:16 am

On Dec. 14, I mailed checks for $25 to 19 nonprofits. Then, I mailed $25 checks on Dec. 31 to an additional four organizations that I have supported for several years. Despite all the arguments I have heard defending the need to save money by not receipting donors (or at least not donors under a certain threshold, often $50), I simply cannot support that cost-saving measure.

The Huge Impact of Small-Dollar Donors on Presidential Fundraising
September 14, 2015 at 10:59 am

Daniel Moughon, an insurance salesman from Fort Worth, Texas, said he knew long-shot Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina was special after listening to one of her early Iowa speeches. He's donated to her 10 times since then. Moughon is not giving millions, though. He's not even giving thousands. In fact, he has added just $273…

Arts Philanthropy Booming, Cultural Giving Rises 9.2 Percent
June 26, 2015 at 12:48 pm

Americans’ donations to arts and culture rose 9.2 percent in 2014, the highest increase in nine categories tracked by Giving USA, an annual report on charitable contributions. Overall, however, arts and culture commanded a modest share of the philanthropic pie. Estimated gifts to arts and culture totaled $17.2 billion, according to the report compiled by…

Awe
June 26, 2015 at 12:38 pm

As a master BS'er (behavioral scientist) in private and professional life, I want to know why people do things, so I can use it in executing my evil plans. My beloved henchman, Otis the neuropsychologist, feeds my habit regularly with links sent in emails with cryptic subject lines. This subject line was “awe.” I thought it was about cute puppies. But no, it was a gem. Turns out, if I can get someone to experience awe, they are more likely to be less narcissistic and be more helpful to others. How can we do that?