Surveys Show Donors Are Still Willing to Give

Are donors still giving during the pandemic?

Two weeks ago, Gallup released the results of a poll of Americans about their charitable giving since the novel pandemic hit in March.

The good news is that 66% say they do not plan to change the amount they give to charity in the coming year, and 25% say they plan to increase their contributions.  (Just 7% say they plan to decrease their charitable contributions.) 

Another recent survey by Campbell Rinker for Dunham and Company found similarly positive signs: 81% of respondents plan to continue giving during the pandemic. 

Both the Gallup poll and the Campbell Rinker survey tracked responses by income and education levels, finding that those with higher incomes and educational attainment were more likely to report continuing their charitable support during the pandemic.

These are important findings. We’ve always known that charities need to focus on “major gifts” as the most productive fundraising strategy. Cultivating high-net-worth individuals, professionals with white-collar jobs, business owners: this is the tried and true method for building boards and donor programs in the short-term and over time.

Spend time during the pandemic talking with your best donors; it’s also a good time to focus on prospective donors who your research shows have high giving potential. Maybe they haven’t given to your cause, but they came to one of your events. Spend 4-5 hours each week calling and emailing these top donors and prospects. Be frank about how your organization is coping with COVID-19. Be honest if your organization is suffering due to lack of funds.

Make the communication personal and “high touch” – this kind of one-on-one approach gives prospective donors unique insights into your organization, making them feel necessary, special, and involved.

Donors are giving. Just keep asking.