Blackbaud Charitable Giving Report: from insight to action

The biggest fundraising trend report for 2016 is here from Blackbaud. It’s jam-packed with data and perspectives from fundraising professionals.

If you work in fundraising, you need to read this report. And, if you work in fundraising, we know the top of your to-do list has more pressing needs.

To keep you on task and well-informed, we took on the three most important insights and explain what they mean for you and your organisation.

  1. Web and mobile trends: Online giving is up 8% in 2016 compared to 2015. Additionally, Mobile giving makes up 17% of online giving, making a 21% increase from 2016. Like everyone else, Donors are increasingly going digital and using their phones.

This statistic reflects the pressure for organisations to look good online and on mobile in order to meet donors where they want to give. While necessary, having these options is not sufficient. Putting a paypal button on a website and making it mobile-friendly won’t impact donations if the call to action is weak and uninspiring.

Simply facelifting a website by migrating all of the antiquated communications into a faster or newer-looking site with the latest web- and mobile-friendly bells and whistles will not create significant returns on investment. Over time, organisations taking this route will end up wasting their budget for a cheaper quick-fix.

You can pour money into repainting and refurbishing the body of an old 1960 Ford Thunderbird and it might turn some heads. But if the engine is rusted over, you’re not going anywhere.

To drive online donations, your organisation needs a clear roadmap for your vision and a robust strategy to get you there. It’s time to look under the hood and be honest about your organisation’s capacity, mission, and direction. Let go of old habits and outdated assumptions. Invest in a new vehicle for change that will actually work. Then, use your website as part of a comprehensive strategy to bring donors into your organisation.

Do the research, start meaningful conversations with decision-makers in your organisation, and invest in a new vehicle for change.

  1. “Over the course of the past five years, we are seeing more giving, but fewer donors. That speaks to the work that charities must do to improve their retention and cultivation of donors by creating a culture of philanthropy and telling their stories of impact and change.” – Jason Lee, Interim President & CEO, Association of Fundraising Professionals

The good news is that it requires more investment to find new donors than it does to retain existing donors. So, focusing on relationships with current donors instead of cultivating new ones saves money. The even better news is that there are great software solutions that can aid in tracking donations and ensuring donor loyalty. We work with our partner eSimpleIT to support organisations in learning these new practices and tailoring the solution to best fit their needs.

Organisations often confuse the process with the messaging. Telling, “stories of impact and change”, is all about using these improved avenues of communication to showcase the thoughtful exploration into why and who should care about the organisation. It’s the stories that keep people motivated to continue donating. Ask us about fundraising and communications support.

  1. “[T]he newer generations of donors view themselves as change agents who do not simply want to passively give charitable contributions; it requires building new types of relationships with donors to help them enact change in the context of charitable mission” – Jason Lee, Interim President & CEO, Association of Fundraising Professionals

This is especially challenging for organisations clinging to, “but we’ve always done it this way”. Creativity is needed in order to engage with younger donors. Non-profits will see increased capital over time if they extend the conversation to ask younger donors how they would like to support charitable missions.

If the organisation and the younger donors’ roles and relationships are clear, then the missions will be furthered and brand champions will emerge as organisation leaders.

It’s no surprise that the dedicated people working in change-making organisations are feeling pressure to be more effective, more responsive, and implement more robust solutions to create better and healthier systems.

As expectations grow for organisations to drive positive change, experts in fundraising, communications, and creative are well-positioned to support non-profits. Phil has assembled a superstar team ready to lift organisations holistically. Just pick up the phone or email us for a free consultation to see how your non-profit or social business could benefit from teaming with Phil!