Fundraising Talks
News and updates from the USM Office of
Advancement Research
We all remember MacKenzie Scott's historic $4.2 billion gift to more than 350 organizations, which included HBCUs within the USM. While Scott was not a graduate of the HBCU institutions she donated to, there is a whole network of alumni that HBCUs can leverage to increase engagement and giving. In this blog post by Diverse Education, Dr. Charlie Nelms provides strategies to increase support from HBCU alumni. Dr. Nelms encourages starting early and making new students aware of how philanthropic support has impacted and sustained HBCUs. Include all alumni in communications, whether they are members of the alumni association or not. Create and sustain a culture of giving and treat every gift as a major gift. Lead by giving - Dr. Nelms encourages that the highest paid employee at your institution (typically the president) become the biggest giver so they have credibility when asking for support from cabinet members, deans, department chairs, faculty, and staff. Finally, thank and acknowledge gifts in a timely manner. Read the full post here.
A social donor is anyone who self-reports to giving to at least one charity by attending a fundraising event, participating or sponsoring someone in a fundraising activity, or donating or requesting donations for an occasion or challenge. A recent Giving Experience Survey by OneCause has shown that the number of social donors who self-report has increased from 28 percent in 2018 to 47 percent in 2021. 27 percent of adults in the U.S. gave through events and peer-to-peer fundraising in the past year, which is up 23 percent from 2018. However, giving from White/Non-Hispanic donors was down 10 percent from the 2018 survey, while Hispanic and Black giving increased. 60 percent of donors said they feel comfortable attending an in-person fundraising event this summer. 38 percent of social donors said they would attend a virtual event, with 22 percent preferring in-person, and 30 percent expecting to attend a mix of both. Read more here.
As we discussed at the beginning of this newsletter, the landscape of giving is changing as we move to a post-pandemic lifestyle in the United States. The composition of who is donating and how has changed considerably in the past decades and will continue to do so at a faster pace, according to Forbes. As we have heard before, fewer individuals are donating, but the individuals who donate are donating more. With tax codes incentivizing the wealthy to give, Forbes predicts that giving from the wealthy will continue to accelerate. Additionally, a greater share of giving will come from appreciated assets instead of cash and giving will increase from millennials. In order to keep up with these shifts, Forbes encourages nonprofits to:
  • Be knowledgeable about common financial issues relevant to the wealthy
  • Understand and support your donors that use donor-advised funds. 
  • Understand and respect the role of financial advisors, wealth managers and philanthropic advisors.
  • Create good pathways for asset and bequest giving. 
  • Prioritize user experience and design.

This detailed, how-to guide from Aspire Research Group covers how to create donor segments, why donor segmentation works for fundraising strategies, and how segmentation and personalization builds relationships. By segmenting donors, your nonprofit can build outreach and marketing strategies around minor groupings. This ultimately will lead to greater social media engagement, event registration, click-through rates, and online donations. Read the full guide here.
Bloomerang offers tips for hosting in-person fundraising events:
  • Host a hybrid event that allows for in-person attendance as well as virtual attendance.
  • Host multiple events in the same year - offer in-person events as well as virtual events and let your audience choose what they feel most comfortable with.
  • Host an outdoor in-person fundraising event.
  • Stay safe and follow CDC guidelines.