Persistent Decline in Fundraising

We continue our series on fundraising fundamentals. We wrote about building a campaign gift chart in February, building fundraising goals in March, and our 12 campaign beliefs in April.

The Fundraising Effectiveness Project 2023 year-end data was released last week during the AFP ICON conference in Toronto, and the data is sobering.

As the press release states, “the growing challenge for American nonprofits: a near-universal decline in fundraising metrics, including dollars raised, donor counts, and retention when compared to 2022.” 

There are fewer donors giving fewer dollars and fewer are renewing their support.

The most generous donors, those giving $50,000 or more, had the greatest decrease in giving. Additionally, “small organizations performed the best in terms of dollars raised, remaining flat or slightly positive, with the largest organizations seeing the greatest decrease in fundraising.”

Achieving fundraising goals, which are often unrealistic, is hard on a good day. Knowing this data means development professionals must be strategic and pragmatic at the same time.

Use the FEP data to drive your annual fundraising plan.

How does your donor data stack up against the national data? If you increased donor retention by 10%, how much more would you raise? If you increased average gift size because of relationship building, how much more would you raise?

There is an urgency to these questions because your programs and services are critical to the people and places your mission serves.

When we dive deep into donor data, as our AFP colleagues have done, we gain tremendous insights into the health of donor relationships and the effectiveness of strategies.

Let us know how this helps your organization fulfill its mission.

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