Fundraising in nonprofits can be an almost thankless task. At the end of each fiscal year, no matter how well you did, you start again at zero. It can feel like funds don’t come in as quickly as you or your leaders would like. In fact, it’s easy to start thinking that people aren’t giving. That they’re tired.

So it’s great to have the researchers at GivingUSA collect real data on giving.

Giving grew 4.1%

GivingUSA 2016 - Giving grows again

Image (c) GivingUSA. Used with permission.

GivingUSA is the longest ongoing research on giving in the United States of America. As such, it’s helpful to see the trends over years. And in the last year, giving grew by 4/1% to a total of $373.25 billion.

Some key points to note:

  • Individual Giving makes up 80% of all giving

    As we make the point in Fundraising 101, individual giving remains at 80% of all giving. If you read the report, individual is 71% and bequests are 9%. Since only individuals can leave bequests, we combine the two for general training and coaching.

    Key takeaway: challenge your organization to balance fundraising with facts – what if 80% of your organization’s fundraising time were focused on individuals?

  • Per capita giving grows

    Not only did giving grow, but last year per capita giving by U.S. adults reached $1,101. The report says that is an average of $2,124 per household.

    Key takeaway: People continue to give to things that matter to them. If giving to your organization isn’t what you’d like, try changing your communications and storytelling.

People continue to be generous

The good news is that people continue to be generous. So don’t grow tired of repeating contact with donors and prospects.

For more details, get the report on GivingUSA’s site:

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