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Mar 18, 2020

Fundraising’s Solid Ground

As I write this, we literally live in a world filled with uncertainty.

While us analysts cannot predict the future of fundraising, we are pretty good at studying past donor behavior, and that can help us better understand how we should respond in times of uncertainty.

In my career as a fundraising analyst, there have been numerous “hold your breath” moments: The dot.com bust, Y2K, 9/11, the anthrax scare, and the Great Recession. Each of these events did adversely affect fundraising. But after each event, donors and revenue rebounded.

In the past days, I have gone back into some of our data vaults and have studied each of these events, and here’s what I learned that may help us in the months ahead:

  1. Overall, fundraising revenue declined in the year of these events. In the worse cases, by up to 20%. But most organizations were in the 3-5% range.
  2. There were fewer large gifts secured in the year of the crisis.
  3. New donor acquisition suffered the most, dropping as much as one-third.
  4. Multi-Year donors continued to give faithfully throughout the period of uncertainty.

Multi-Year donors – those that have given to your organization year in and year out – typically generate two-thirds of a nonprofit’s revenue. They also provide the best return on investment. However, they can only do that if you continue to communicate to them and ask for their support.

Your Multi-Year donors know you. They believe in you. It’s now time for you to believe in them and give them the opportunity to help your organization through this period of uncertainty.

The Regression to the Mean has Begun

A year ago, all of us in the business of fundraising were nervous. Lockdowns were taking place across the world, there were shortages of toilet paper and no one was sure how donors would respond. No one could have predicted that donors would respond in a such an...

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December 31 Emails

This past year, we tracked email solicitations for both Giving Tuesday and December 31 (your can read about Giving Tuesday here: https://www.analyticalones.com/giving-spam-tuesday/). We wanted to compare these two critical days of email fundraising. Here are some...

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Giving (SPAM) Tuesday

This year, the whole Analytical Ones’ team tracked our the number of emails we received from organizations, how many we received, our relationship with the organization (active donor, lapsed donor or new donor acquisition), and, when we received the email. Here is...

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