Americans gave $316.23 billion to charity last year, 79 percent came from individuals, 15 percent from foundations and 6 percent from corporations said Barbara Ciconte at the 8th annual The Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraiser Conference at the Gaylord Conference Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland. The biggest beneficiaries of the donations according to one source are religious organizations, followed by education related institutions and human services organizations.
Though Americans are great givers, the trend is toward fewer Americans giving, but those who give are giving even more. And the greatest reason why people stop giving is that there are “too frequent solicitations,” followed by change in charity leadership or activities, added Ciconte of Donor Strategies.
As most Americans can testify by the phone calls or mail they receive asking for donations in the Fall, the holidays is when many charities gear up their fundraising drives. “Maybe it’s best to spread out your solicitations over the year with a special push during the holidays,” Ciconte suggested to fundraisers. When seeking funds from corporations, Jeanne Jacob of Goodwin House suggested contacting the Marketing and Community Outreach departments first.
Jacob, who coauthored with Ciconte, Fundraising Basics (Jones and Bartlett Publishers, $120.56), talked about the role of a non-profit’s board of directors. Overall the board is responsible for the organization’s administration including the approval of the budget and raising funds. “Always tell them (the board), we want you to think at the high level . . . and not immerse into the details like the color of the tickets,” explained Jacob. Without trying to sound mean, she revealed the three Gs of fundraising at relates to the board: give funds, get funds or get off the board. She also suggested providing them business cards and job descriptions.
“We have four generations of donors,” said Ciconte. Older groups give with the faith that the non-profit will apply the funds correctly. The youngest groups want to “see results,” she said. Ciconte emphasized, “Increasingly donors are not asking whether their donations were spent, but how their donations made a difference.”
Click here for a copy of the 15-page The Next Generation of American Giving, a study on the multichannel preferences and charitable habits of Generation Y, Generation X, Baby Boomers and Matures.
The Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraiser Conference
The conference featured Fundraising 101 along with Direct Marketing 101 as previews to the two-day conference that included about 80 other hour long workshops. The attendees represented an array of non-profits including Kamilah Wills, Development Assistant at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. “The information was broad enough for all walks of the non-profit world to get an overview on how to fundraise and build a donor pool and pipeline,” she said.
The NCDC Conference, Conference of Religious Fundraisers, Sep 11-Sep 14, 2013 Grapevine Texas
The 2014 Conference takes place July 9 – July 11on the Potomac River at the Gaylord Convention Center, Oxon Hill, MD.