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By Drew Fox Jordan • May 18, 2020

Philanthropic Giving Hits New Low - How Will You Respond?

Philanthropic giving has hit a new low, according to a new Gallup poll. Gallup finds the percentage of Americans who have given to charity in the last year has dropped to 73 percent, six points beyond the previous low of 79 percent in 2009, following the Great Recession. A deeper dive into the numbers does afford some encouragement, with 27 percent of donors planning to increase their giving.


 

What does this mean for the nonprofit sector?
The top takeaway is that the competition for donor dollars is greater than we’ve ever seen and organizations will need to strategically direct campaigns to account for this variable.

Prior years of giving statistics have prepared the social good sector for this new reality. Although overall philanthropic giving has been increasing year-to-year, those gifts are coming from fewer individual donors. The good news in this is that fundraising leadership already has the playbook to address these newly publicized statistics.

The Playbook

With fewer dollars available for charitable giving, staying relevant with only your top donors is no longer enough to meet fundraising goals. Organizational leaders need to expand personal, one-to-one outreach to a greater number of donors or prospects. After all, the only way to know if your donors and prospects are any of the 27 percent that looks to increase giving this year is to ask them.

Expanding personalized outreach makes sense, but a recent Gravyty survey of more than 200 fundraisers found that more organizations would accept missing fundraising revenue goals than would hire additional fundraisers. So, what’s the play now?

Assistive artificial intelligence (AI) is routinely helping fundraising teams act as if they were 2-3x their size by efficiently increasing fundraiser capacity.

By transforming fundraiser capacity, AI tools like Gravyty allow individual fundraisers to manage large assigned portfolios and expand personalized outreach to prospects and supporters to build relationships and inspire giving, at scale.

To get an idea for what one AI-enabled fundraiser is capable of in a single year, read our case study with John A. Farkas, Jr. of WVIA public media who uses Gravyty to manage an assigned portfolio of 199 donors and still has the capacity to personally prospect with hundreds more each year.

 

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