As we enter the homestretch of 2016, many nonprofits are preparing their year-end campaign or planning for the next year’s fundraising strategy. There is a plethora of data available about giving trends and statistics across the country that can be applied to make sure you’re getting the most out of your fundraising and marketing efforts. To simplify some of that information, here is a look at 5 giving trends and how they can impact your fundraising and marketing strategy.

1. Increased giving from foundations

2015 in the U.S. saw a more than 4% overall increase in charitable giving, and this increase is anticipated to continue at least through 2017. While individuals continue to provide the largest portion of revenues, some experts predict foundation giving to experience the greatest increase in giving through the coming year.

2. Online and email giving

This day and age, it’s not surprising that the rate of online giving is growing. What is curious, however, is that while we are seeing a decline in email success metrics such as open and click-through rates, studies show the rate of email revenues increasing by as much as 24% last year. Furthermore, email revenues made up nearly a third of all online giving. This can likely be attributed to organizations becoming more intentional with their online and email marketing and targeting specific donors or groups based on the content of their messaging.

3. Monthly giving is on the rise

Over the past couple of years monthly giving trends have been steadily increasing at a higher rate than one-time giving. Monthly giving is a win-win for both donors and nonprofits. It eases the financial burden of a larger one-time gift and provides nonprofits with a stream of mostly predictable revenue. And who doesn’t want predictable revenue?

One of the keys to a successful monthly giving program is a focus on donor retention. Corporate America has long since figured out that it is more cost effective to retain a customer than acquire a new one. The same can be said for donors. Create a stewardship strategy for your monthly donors to make them feel special and see the impact of their gift.

4. Generational differences

The workforce has changed. Baby boomers are retiring later and millennials are bringing a completely different dynamic to the workplace. Just as these different generations have different work styles, they also have different giving styles. While older generations still respond well to direct mail and phone calls, younger donors are primarily using online and mobile methods of giving.

Collecting information about your donors will help you be most effective in your marketing to donors. Utilize your donor database to track demographic information, communication preferences, and why they’re interested in your organization, among other details.

5. Changes to corporate giving

Corporations make up about 5% of charitable giving, but the corporate giving atmosphere is changing. More and more businesses are creating opportunities for their employees to get involved and have a say in how the company gives. Some are offering to match employee gifts and other are coordinating large group volunteering opportunities.

How are you tapping into this resource? Start researching which companies in your area offer matching gifts. Send information to your donors about matching gifts options and encourage them to ask their employer about gift matching. Stay engaged with corporate volunteers, let them know the impact their efforts made, and invite them to become personally involved with your organization.

It is important to think strategically about your funding strategy, but keep in mind that not all statistics and trends can be applied universally. What makes sense for one organization may not be to most efficient or effective for your nonprofit. Check out this cool interactive map to see giving data more targeted to your area.

As you begin applying some of these trends to your strategy, track and analyze what is working well and what didn’t have as much of a return. See how your organization stacks up against other similar organizations across the country or other organizations in your area.


National Philanthropic Trust –
Philanthropy Outlook 2016 & 2017 –
M+R Benchmarks Study 2016 –
Nonprofit Hub –
Association of Fundraising Professionals 2016 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report –
How America Gives Interactive Map –