Nonprofits Should Make Donating Easier Amid Cost of Giving Crisis
We're not alone in experiencing food, gas and other prices going up. And, as fundraisers, we should be concerned about the impact on giving.
“There is no doubt that there is a growing cost of living crisis, but is this turning into a cost of giving crisis? [This chart] shows that there is an increasingly strong link between the financial position of the public and their ability to give. Fifty-three percent of the public say that they now find it harder to donate to charity than they did just six months ago.”
The report continues: “Charities need to be mindful of this in their messaging, and providing flexibility and a range of donation options to supporters will be an important part of planning any activities."
So, there you have it: Allow your donors to be flexible in their giving. Allow your donors to make a difference with smaller amounts, on an ongoing basis. Allow your donors to make monthly gifts.
Make it easy for donors to help. Because donors do want to support the causes they care about. Donors want to do as much as they can. Monthly gifts may simply be the better way for donors to do so.
Do you, your boss and your board always want bigger donors? Do you, your boss and your board wish the Mackenzie Scotts of the world would support your organization with big gifts?
Yes, of course. But your organization may not be on their radar. And other big donors may simply not be able to do as much as they did before. Perhaps for them the stock market fluctuates even more.
Every donor has to start somewhere. And right now, your donors may wish to start at smaller amounts, more often, monthly.
Right now, your donors may need to be prompted to make a gift a bit more often than through your once-a-month or once-a-quarter email appeal, or your twice-a-year direct mail appeal. And with the pandemic still here, they may simply not come to your event no matter how hard you wished they would.
You may have to step up your communications and your fundraising a bit more to make it clear to your donors that they can help in ways that are most comfortable for them and their budget.
Especially now, in a world that’s upside down in so many ways, you, as fundraisers, and organizations are doing essential work.
That’s why I’ll leave you with this final thought: A small gift in the hand is better than no gift at all.
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. 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 authored "Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant" and "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 a cat, Mientje.