Tax Study Findings by Nonprofit Category

Tax Study Findings by Nonprofit Category

You’ll remember that we posted the findings from our Tax Study* back in March (see the findings here). The main finding from that was while less than a third of Americans itemize their deductions, as many as 75% of donors who give $1,000 or more to charity each year itemize their charitable deductions. General donors (under $1k annually) and Major donors ($10k+) are mostly immune to the changes to the tax code for 2018.  However, nine percent of Mid-level donors ($1,000 to $9,999 annual) report that they will have a significant decrease in giving next year in response to the change. A client recently asked if we expect those changes to affect any one nonprofit category more than another. The answer is – Not really. Animal Welfare and Environmental causes have a very slightly higher percentage of donors who say that they will decrease their giving, and donors to Arts organizations – for whatever reasons – have a lower percentage of donors who say that they will decrease their giving. But, overall, percentages are similar across the board. Again, the issue seems not to be with the category that the donor donates to, but with the amount of their giving. So, focusing on that $1,000-9,999 group no matter your nonprofit category is key.   *Tax Study co-sponsored by The Donlon Agency and Analytical...
Our Top 5 Most Popular Blogs of 2017

Our Top 5 Most Popular Blogs of 2017

Happy New Year! As we start 2018, we wanted to take a moment to thank for your reads, comments, and shares over the last year. We hope you were able to use a few of our analytical insights to grow your fundraising program. Last year, our most popular posts focused on major donors’ first channel of giving, gift size by generation, statistical significance in testing, acquisition strategies, and trends among successful nonprofits. In case you missed any of these posts, here are the links to our top 5 blogs of 2017: Major Donors – In the Beginning Granny’s $5 Birthday Surprise Won’t Cut It Any Longer Response Rate Testing and Statistical Significance More is Not Always More (Acquisition Strategy) Success Stories Thank you and here’s to a great...
Disaster Donor Retention – Reprise

Disaster Donor Retention – Reprise

Like you, over the past several weeks our attention has been focused on Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma and the destructive paths that they’ve carved through the U.S. And as our managing partner Bill returns home from his 2nd evacuation in less than 12 months, our thoughts and prayers are with the many people who were affected by the storms. But, as we did last year at this time after Hurricane Matthew, we think it’s a good time to look at the trends of new donors who respond to natural disasters and their retention in the following year – or lack thereof. Below is a graph for a social services nonprofit in an area hit by a natural disaster in FY13. This graph shows the number of new donors acquired each year. There was an 88% spike in the number of new donors in FY13, then a 58% decrease in new donors the next year. And below is the overall retention for the same organization. Their overall Retention dropped 12% – from 53% to 46% in the year after the disaster (although retention recovered nicely in FY15). And in FY14, Second Year Donor Retention dropped 30%, from 6 to 18%! Sometimes, there’s little that can be done to increase these new donors’ retention. They are motivated to give by the disaster and may not be converted to give to the organization’s overall mission. In surveys, many donors don’t even consider themselves donors TO the organization, but instead to the event. “I gave to Hurricane Matthew”, NOT “I gave to XYZ Organization.” Still, these donors should receive all of the stewardship...
Sustainer Donor Value

Sustainer Donor Value

We recently did some analysis on a client’s sustainer or monthly pledge donors. The client wanted to see how much donors were worth AFTER joining the monthly pledge program compared to their value BEFORE joining the program. While this wasn’t a test and we can’t directly prove cause and effect, we do find that the donors were worth $52 more – a 24% increase – after joining the monthly pledge program. If those donors stay on the program and maintain that difference in value, that’s an additional $260 over five years for every donor that joins the monthly giving program. So, maybe that means that they can afford to invest a little more in converting annual donors to monthly pledge donors. If they get an additional 200 donors to become sustainers each year, that’s an additional $10,000 each year. So, that’s $50,000 over 5 years. With an additional 200 new sustainers EACH year that’s $150,000 cumulative over 5 years! So maybe that means the organization can also spend a little more to cultivate and thank those donors once they become monthly sustainers. Even with a welcome package that costs $10 and another $10 invested in cultivation each year, that still leaves the organization with an additional $200 net per donor over 5 years. Pledge donors are more valuable. Are you treating them that...
The Medium and the Message

The Medium and the Message

I recently read an interesting article that reported on research from the USPS. It’s called “Why Direct Mail is More Memorable”. Now, the Post Office certainly has a vested interest in promoting direct mail, but aside from that, it’s a worthwhile read. If you have an extra 3 minutes, you should check it out. To summarize the study, the USPS partnered with the Center for Neural Decision Making at Temple University’s Fox School of Business to do the research. They studied people’s response to mail and print ads using Eye Tracking, Core Biometrics and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging – high tech stuff. Their findings? The article reports that the study participants spent more time with direct mail and print ads than they did with digital ads and they also remembered the messages more quickly and confidently with direct mail and print ads. “Physical ads elicited a stronger emotional response than their digital counterparts and, overall, had a longer-lasting impact.” Their conclusions are no different than what most savvy marketers already know – an integrated campaign is always the strongest campaign. We are creatures that like to touch things, interact with things. Including direct mail in a campaign gives a distinct advantage in being able to deliver a deeper...