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    By Adam Martel • April 3, 2021

    The Impact of Fundraising: Week of April 4

    In this series, we take a look at the current news impacting the nonprofit sector, specifically fundraising. Our intention is not to be reactive, but to be proactive in our analysis of the news and consider how fundraising and philanthropic efforts can improve outcomes and adapt to meet the times.

    This week: 5 Economic Indicators That (Mostly) Point to a Brighter Year for Nonprofits, From Feel Good to Real Good, Facebook-Generated Fundraising Hits $5 Billion Since Inception, Data Reveals Surge in Goodwill Toward Healthcare Organizations, and Artificial Intelligence and Its Impact on Society.

    5 Economic Indicators That (Mostly) Point to a Brighter Year for Nonprofits

    5 Economic Indicators That (Mostly) Point to a Brighter Year for Nonprofits (Via Chronicle of Philanthropy)

    Experts say five key indicators can help nonprofits forecast their fiscal health this year on both the revenue and spending side of the ledger. And those indicators generally point to an improved outlook after a very tough year for nonprofits. Una Osili, associate dean for research and international programs at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, said much depends on how donors feel about their prospects going forward. For example, someone with a high-paying job may hold off on giving out of concern that a layoff could be just around the corner. “People give when they feel secure,” says Osili. 

    Analysis: The recovering economy plays an enormous role in how giving numbers look for 2021. I am encouraged by the numbers showing that donors are responding in times of crisis and giving in ways that might be new to them. My hope is that they will continue to support their communities in the years to come.

    From Feel Good to Real Good

    From Feel Good to Real Good (Via Stanford Social Innovation Review)

    If there is one trend that sums up the next generation, it is that they want to make a difference in the world. For example, 66 percent of teens say they want their jobs to impact the world, and 26 percent of 16- to 19-year-olds are already volunteering. But despite caring more than ever before, so many young people remain ill-equipped to effectively do anything about the problems they see.

    Analysis: Involving the younger generations in the work we do is so important for the future of nonprofits. Understanding and believing in the work we do is what propels us to do the best work of our lives for the people that need it most. 

    Facebook-Generated Fundraising Hits $5 Billion Since Inception

    Facebook-Generated Fundraising Hits $5 Billion Since Inception (Via NonProfit Times)

    Fundraising on Facebook has pulled in an aggregate $5 billion for nonprofit and private causes since the online platform began facilitating donations in 2015. The total reflects the efforts and contributions of more than 85 million global fundraiser organizers and donors, with the majority of donations clocking in at less than $25.

    Analysis: One of the more interesting shifts in philanthropy has been the role of "social giving". While the gifts are primarily small, how many of those donors are just now giving for the first time? This spike in involvement is likely just the beginning of a new generation of donors. 

    Data Reveals Surge in Goodwill Toward Healthcare Organizations

    Data Reveals Surge in Goodwill Toward Healthcare Organizations (Via PRNewswire)

    New data from Blackbaud shows that U.S healthcare organizations have raised $4.9B in case in 2020, a year-over-year increase of 2.7 percent. The study also found that in-kind donations to healthcare organizations increased by 61 percent in 2020, as well as healthcare cash-giving increased by 2.7 percent in 2020, but total transactions decreased by 6.7 percent indicating that larger gifts are coming from fewer donors.

    Analysis: Obviously it is good to see that an industry that has been fighting the pandemic on the front lines is seeing increased financial support. However, there has been a decrease in the total number of donors, which aligns with the numbers we see across all nonprofits. The competition for donor dollars has never been higher, and my hope is that this will not have negative long-term implications on health care philanthropy. 

    Artificial Intelligence and Its Impact on Society

    Artificial Intelligence and Its Impact on Society (Via NonProfit Pro)

    There was a time when nonprofits hired a team of fundraisers. The team leader was a development director with a major gifts officer, an events person, and a grant writer. Today, nonprofits can do what it took the director of development and the major gifts officer a few days — or even months — in a couple of minutes. The development team's work can also get completed at a fraction of the cost with better results.

    Analysis: AI is not something that can replace a fundraiser. AI cannot have coffee with a donor or have a relationship with them. What it can do is enable those fundraisers to be more human: by creating efficiencies, humans can have more relationships and spend more time cultivating them if AI is applied to the non-donor facing tasks that fundraisers do like combing through spreadsheets and logging emails back into the CRM.

    Interested in seeing how Gravyty can kickstart your fundraising efforts? Talk to a Gravyty specialist today and learn what artificial intelligence can do for you.

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