Overcome the Forecasted Decline in Charitable Giving

Overcome the Forecasted Decline in Charitable Giving

The Atlas of Givings report informed (and for most, alarmed) the non-profit industry of a decline in charitable giving for the year 2016. Indeed, year-to-date charitable giving is down by 1.4% from last years. With a forecast of $486.92 billion in total giving, we should expect an increase of 1.9% in 2016, a rather shy number compared to the 4.6% increase of 2015.

You are on a mission. Every year is crucial for the growth and reach of your incredible cause, and the 2016 charitable giving predictions should not put your efforts on standby. Now that you’ve had the warning from the Atlas of Giving, let us try to help you fight the odds! Here are some ways to increase charitable giving for your non-profit.

1. Social Media

Social media is a strong asset for you to spread awareness and reach out to a wider audience. Therefore, wisely and effectively using the right social platforms is important.

  • Hashtag trending topics

Take advantage of trending topics to reach a maximum audience. To do so, check out the trending hashtags, either directly on your social media channel, or using this handy hashtag tool, and then re-use them in your own posts.

  • Campaigns

While posting on a daily basis using targeted hashtags is key, implementing strategic campaigns is also an important aspect of social media use for nonprofits.

A good case study of campaign optimization is #GivingTuesday. Online donations on #GivingTuesday 2015 were up 52% compared to 2014[i], a very impressive statistic that shows the success of the campaign. Of course, you do not want to miss out on this. But most importantly, you want to be prepared to make the most of it as it can be a competitive place to get your message across. Create and strategize a special campaign for #GivingTuesday encompassing a strong social media call for action, an ephemeral Its #GivingTuesday, donate now! landing page on your website, and a newsletter for example.

PS: While #GivingTuesday is universal, there are also many more awareness days relating to your cause that you can use for other campaigns. Check out this awareness calendar to easily keep track of when and which giving days you can leverage to generate awareness for your cause. Read more about successful nonprofit social media campaigns, and get inspired!

Tip: Buffer social media management will make your life easier. With this tool, you can link to all of your social media platforms on one page, and schedule posts. A time savior, and social booster. Give it a try!

Using the two aforementioned tips will help you grow your audience on social media which will allow your campaigns to drive more donors to your website where they have the opportunity to learn more and to donate.

2. Target your donors

Targeting your donors is key to successfully #RaisingMore for your cause. It is no question that donor retention is crucial for your fundraising activities. However, bringing in new donors is just as important! Read more Givergy tips on how to attract high value donors to your event, and how to appeal to the new giving generation!

3.Embrace new technologies

Be mobile friendly. Nowadays the majority of people look up websites on their cellphones, making it imperative for your website to be compatible to this trend. Furthermore, any direct donation buttons you have on your site should be optimized for smart phone viewing, as well as simple payment collection on the go. For example, Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York does a great job incorporating their Donate button on their mobile website.

4.Donor retention

Donor retention is an ever trending subject among charities, and although it sounds so simple, we all acknowledge that it really is not!

  • Treasure your donors

The key rule to retaining donors is to let them know how special they are to your cause. A personalized, hand written thank you note goes a long way, but it should not stop there. Indeed, its all the little touch points that will let them know how special and helpful they are to the charity. For instance, if your charity has something interesting happening, send them a personal note telling them about it. Although it might be more time consuming than adding them to your generic email blast list, in the long run it will actually save you time and help you raise more because you’ve identified and nurtured your high end donors well!

  • Transparency

People who make donations are not throwing money out of the window. They truly care about your amazing cause and want to help you achieve your mission by increasing your funds. This is why transparency is very important. People are more motivated when they understand the why and how. If a donor knows where his/her money is going and really sees the impact it has made on your mission, they are most likely to give again and maybe even increase their donation! In other words, transparency is key to keep your supporters involved, passionate and motivated.

5.Optimize your event

Have a variety of tickets for your attendees to choose from for every event. People love to get something different and to feel special. VIP tickets, preferable seating, or value add items like merchandise or free raffle entries are just a few ideas. By offering a little extra service in your ticketing for an extra cost, you will raise more during your event!

Additionally, your fundraising can begin well before your event starts. Make your online auction live before your event. From experience, 2 weeks is an optimal time to go online. This will get the crowed engaged in your event before your event even starts.


Leaderboards are a fundraisers best friend! By constantly showing the progression of funds raised during the event, you will keep the crowd motivated, engaged and even generate a friendly competition within the audience.

Givergy offers a variety of services for non-profits to take full advantage of their fundraising efforts. For more information about how Givergy and its cutting-edge fundraising technology can help your next fundraising campaign raise more, contact us!

[i] CHARITABLE GIVING REPORT How Nonprofit Fundraising Performed in 2015. Blackbaud, 2016.

Ben Crook

Ben Crook

Chief Operating Officer

Ben is at the forefront of every project in Givergy, listing and actioning constant improvements across the business. With over a decade of experience in the charity and events sector he brings a deep understanding of what the fundraising industry needs to operate effectively and efficiently.