International Fundraising Trends: What Can You Learn?
As you know, I’m always looking for statistics, especially on monthly giving. And as someone who has raised money internationally for a number of years, I’ve found that it’s always good to look at international fundraising trends.
Yes, cultures and languages can be different. Yes, fundraising channels may be a bit different, but overall: What works in one country, typically works in another. Because you’re raising funds from individuals, and they care about other individuals. People want to help, but they need to be asked to do so.
I just read “The Status of UK Fundraising 2019 Report,” which was based on 1,012 survey respondents from different-sized organizations.
I wanted to highlight two areas.
Data and Privacy
As we in the U.S. are faced with stricter data and privacy guidelines, I thought this chart was interesting (Figure 1). As you know, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect May 2018. Seventy-seven percent of study respondents said that GDPR had made them feel differently about supporter engagement strategies. Fifty-seven of them also said that GDPR is a drain on their resources, and it takes up a lot of time.
The interesting piece is that the group is mixed on the impact on raising funds. Some clearly saw a negative impact; others not so much.
Getting access to other organizations’ mailing lists, a major source of new donors for other organizations, is hard, so this will definitely have an effect on future fundraising in the long term.
Donation Payment Trends
The second piece of information I looked at was how donations were made and, of course, monthly giving trends.
You should know that direct debits and standing orders are very popular in Europe, more so than credit card payments. Let me clarify what the difference is between direct debits and standing orders:
Direct debits: EFT/ACH/automatic bank withdrawals. The donor authorizes the organization to manage the bank withdrawal process.
Standing orders: The donor asks their bank directly to transfer money from their bank account to an organization. The donor is in control of the process. Here, we could equate that to setting this up through recurring gifts through online banking (e.g. PayPal).
From the chart below (Figure 2), you can see that giving by cash and check are decreasing, and other ways to give are becoming more prevalent. It’s intriguing to me to see the number of survey respondents who don’t know what happened to their direct debits or standing orders, or what happened to the number of card payments that come in by phone, so I’d definitely recommend knowing your organization's stats and trends in those areas.
There you have it. If we follow suit in the U.S., I’m clearly excited about the number of donors who may start giving via direct debits or credit cards on a regular basis. That’s the ultimate goal and will help create that sustainable revenue every organization is so desperately looking for.
So, what will 2020 bring for you and your organization?
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is author of the book "Monthly Giving. The Sleeping Giant." She is the president of A Direct Solution, a company serving nonprofit organizations with fundraising and direct marketing needs, with a focus on monthly giving and appeals.
She just co-authored the "Monthly Giving Starter and Marketing Kit" with Donor Perfect, and she’s working on her next book called "Monthly Giving Made Easy." She regularly blogs and presents on fundraising, appeals and monthly giving—in person and through webinars. She is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving retention rates for your donors.
Erica has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supports organizations with annual fund planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution.
When she’s not working or writing, Erica can be found on the golf course (she’s a straight shooter) or quietly reading a book. And if there’s an event with a live band, she and her husband, Patrick, can be found on the dance floor. She also loves watching British drama on PBS. Erica and Patrick have two step sons and cat, Mientje.