The Giving USA Report for 2019 painted a bittersweet picture of philanthropy. While the total amount of philanthropic dollars was still on the rise, but the number of actual donors who contributed to that total was down. The report shed a light on what was then a growing trend across the nonprofit sector: the rising competition for donor dollars.
As fewer individuals gave, overall contributions from major donors became more and more critical. Enter a pandemic and at least a year of civil unrest, and it’s easy to argue that the competition for donor dollars has never been higher.
But this article is not retrospective. In fact, it’s an introduction to fixing a broken donor pyramid problem that was previously masked.
If we bring together the many pieces of the puzzle, there is still ample opportunity for giving, especially individual giving. The pandemic is the catalyst to accelerate solutions in the nonprofit sector, rather than deliver death by a thousand cuts. In fact, nonprofit organizations that adjusted fundraising strategies during the pandemic saw that they could mend the cracks within their donor pyramids in the span of just a few months.
As you look at the cracks in your organization’s pyramid, are they indicative of problems to come? Consider the following:
Do you have fewer donors making gifts?
Do you have fundraisers who feel pressured to ‘go to the well’ one too many times?
Do you have enough touchpoints with non-major donors?
Is there a disconnect between giving pipelines and your relationships with donors?
There are bonafide strategies to inspire mid-level givers to step-up and become major donors, to steward donors of all sizes and segments to increase giving levels, to uncover planned gifts previously unknown to your organization, and more.
The question becomes: how do we give fundraisers the capacity to address these concerns and mend the cracks in our donor pyramids?
Our newest toolkit "Fixing a Cracked Giving Pyramid" takes a look at what the donor pyramid looks like in today's giving climate and provides tangible steps you can take to address cracks before they cause problems.