8 Years of Uncertainty is Enough

November 28, 2016 - by Jordanna Sussman



I recently attended DMAW’s Lunch & Learn “Industry Trends and Insights for the Nonprofit Sector”, presented by Carol Rhine, Principal Fundraising Analyst at Target Analytics. Here are my 4 Key Takeaways:

The wealthy are driving charitable giving

This was an overarching theme throughout Carol’s presentation:

  • Charitable contributions from donors at the top of the income and wealth ladder have increased significantly over the past decade.

  • There has been dramatic growth in the number of private grant-making foundations.

  • A disproportionate amount of growth went to sectors favored by the wealthy such as education and arts/culture.

New donor and retention rates are down

In 2015 both new donor and donor retention rates were down. This made us think — are we acquiring the right donors to our organizations? We discussed the importance of data, especially acquisition lists and markets, and how we want to make sure we are acquiring people who will make that second, third, fourth gift etc.

Language Counts – “Retain v. Renew”

Something that really struck me was how Carol explained that we want to “retain” a monthly donor and “renew” a single-gift donor. It got me thinking about all the elements that go into our direct mail pieces — especially art and copy — and how critical it is that we communicate with these audiences differently.

Do not say mail is “dead”

While mail may be a declining payment channel, it is a critical marketing touch point for people. We live in a world where marketing is truly integrated. Just because people may be giving via other channels such as email, online and mobile, it is still critical to send mail as that additional touch point.


Carol had just gotten back from the International Fundraising Conference in Belgium where the hot topic was Text to Give:

  • The FCC will be changing their rules so donors can opt out of texting versus having to opt in.

  • Soon there will be monthly giving options through mobile plans. You will soon be able to set up automatic monthly giving through your cell phone carrier and have it as a line item on your phone bill.

Thanks, DMAW for an informative session!

More: http://www.dmaw.org/blog/8-years-uncertainty-enough/

Industry Articles

March 2021

When a Woman Is “The First,” Can She Also Be “The Best”?

June 2020

Recurring Gifts — If You Don't Ask, You Won't Recieve

March 2020

DMAW WEBINAR: Fundraising in the Middle of a Pandemic

June 2018

We entered muggles. We left magicians.

June 2018

The Magic Your Organization Needs

April 2018

5 Sure-fire Ways to Increase Response Rates

September 2017

Red, Blue or Indifferent: The Election Changed Fundraising

July 2017

It’s July: Do You Know Where Your 2018 Direct Response Budget Is?

June 2017

7 Ideas For Multi-Channel Break-Throughs

September 2016

Direct Mail Premiums: Pros and Cons From a Former Pro

August 2016

Beyond Email Copy

July 2016

Podcast on On Direct Response Fundraising – with guest Lisa Maska

June 2016

Giving USA: 2015 Was America’s Most-Generous Year Ever

May 2016

Philanthropy: Make Your Mother Proud

July 2015

Fundriaisng Day in New York City

June 2015

Giving USA: Americans Donated an Estimated $358.38 Billion to Charity in 2014; Most in Report’s 60-year History

April 2015

Taget Analytics | donorCentrics™ Index of Direct Marketing Fundraising 2014 Results

March 2015

Communication is Key to Saving Money

February 2015

The 2014 Charitable Giving Report

February 2015

Obama Budget Again Calls for Limit to Charitable Deduction

November 2014

Charitable Giving: How to evaluate and support good causes

November 2014

Member Spotlight

September 2014

The Science Of A Donor Acquisition Package

July 2014

Consider the Environment. Print this.

July 2014

"Pink Slips" Win Big At MAXI Awards

June 2014

Giving USA 2014 Highlights

May 2014

Education Opportunities for Non-Profit Executives

March 2014

Member Spotlight: Emerging Leader

February 2014

Learning From MAXI Excellence

September 2013

30 Brilliant Bits of Online Fundraising Wisdom from the Experts

August 2013

Building a Stronger Bridge: Conference Volunteer, Tiffany Neill Looks Ahead

June 2013

Non-Profit Fundraising and Marketing in a Multi-Channel World

June 2013

Invest in Marketing and Fundraising to Encourage Innovation

November 2012

Direct Response: Not So ‘Direct’ Anymore?