What Do You Do When Donor Money Gets Tighter?

As you know, I try to watch international trends carefully as they could give us some clues about what to expect next with giving in the U.S.

A great free report to check out is the Donor Pulse Report, published by Enthuse. The latest version is focused on giving around the holidays. Donors are starting to find it harder to donate because of their financial situations. Prices have gone up, everywhere, especially caused by the general inflation, higher energy and gas bills, and higher cost of food.

Credit: Donor Pulse Report by Enthuse

Just look at the latest expectations for giving.

It will certainly not surprise me if we see similar trends in the U.S. because everything is getting more expensive here as well. A donor can only spend his or her money once.

But, putting my monthly giving hat on, this also offers an opportunity.

If donors cannot write bigger checks, they still want to help. People always want to support other people and animals. People still care about the missions they cared about before. Instead of writing a $100 check, they may be more comfortable giving $10 or $15 a month. So, make it clear to donors that you value them no matter what amount they give. Step up your gratitude activities — even if their gifts are smaller. I know it is always about resources, but, as the Dutch say, “He who doesn’t honor the small, isn’t worthy of the big.”

If donors are struggling, allow them to give the smallest amount you can get away with. And do not forget to have the same mindset when it comes to your existing monthly donors. Just like what happened early in the pandemic, allow your existing monthly donors to pause or change their frequency and give smaller amounts. You will be able to keep many more of them.

Donors want to help! You just must be gracious and truly appreciative of the amount they are comfortable with giving, based upon their circumstances. It’s better to keep a donor than to lose a donor. Who knows what they will be able to give (again) in the future.

First published on Nonprofit Pro on January 13, 2022

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