The Fundraising Effectiveness Project came out with a new report containing some important data. Whether you’re a community leader or nonprofit professional, this is information those involved with nonprofit organizations should be paying attention to.

First, let’s be clear this data is comparing how did the first three quarters of 2022 compare with the first three quarters of 2021 (Jan-Sept 2021 with Jan-Sept 2022).

The report finds total dollars is up 4.7% while number of donors is down 7.1%. This is not a new trend, but it’s important to understand this is what many nonprofits are experiencing.

The number of donors giving below $500 is down 20.2%. This is also not surprising. The number of donors giving at smaller amounts increased substantially in 2020 and was not going to continue growing at that rate. Now coupled with inflation, it’s not a shock to see such a dramatic decrease in giving at those levels.

Meanwhile, the number of donors who give above $500 has decreased by only 3.8%.

Now let’s look at the role length of giving is playing.

The number of “new donors” and “retained new donors” is down 43.9%. These are donors who first started giving to an organization in the last couple of years.

“Repeat retained donors”, in contrast, is only down 2%. These are donors who have more than two years of giving to an organization.

Interesting. So what?

So what #1: This report is a great training opportunity. It’s critical those involved in raising money for a nonprofit organization understand the data and why some fundraising strategies are more effective and sustainable than others. Spend time at your next development committee meeting discussing this report.

So what #2: While it’s easy to gravitate to the larger figures, it’s important to see who continues to give: donors who are loyal and give larger amounts. This is why an effective and sustainable fundraising strategy focuses on building long-term donor relationships. Does your organization have a detailed major donor cultivation strategy?

So what #3: Review your goals. Yes, you should continue to identify new donors at all giving levels. You also want realistic and informed goals. Review how much you raised last year in these areas and what your goals are for this year. Are they realistic? If not, how should they be adjusted? What impact would that have on your fundraising efforts? What impact would that have on the organization?

Thank you for reading. Have a great day!