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Nonprofits may be on track for best fundraising year ever, new survey finds

A new report on charitable giving suggests America’s nonprofit organizations are on track for possibly their best fundraising year ever, even in the midst of the continued government mandates and a bad economy. The new study of people’s giving intentions across the nation shows that 90 percent of donors expect to give the same or even more to charity this year compared with last year, which smashed records.

“It’s great news for America’s nonprofit organizations and the millions of people they help,” said Derric Bakker, president of DickersonBakker. “Given the accelerated demand for services, many nonprofit leaders have been nervous about how the pandemic might affect charitable giving, which is often the primary way they receive funding to support their work. Our comprehensive survey shows that donors are stepping up to meet the increased burden. The vast majority say they intend to give as much as they did last year or more, especially during the all-important holiday season when many nonprofits receive up to 40 percent of their total annual revenue.”

A similar survey conducted by the company last year forecast donations to charities would be strong in 2020, despite the pandemic, and the prediction proved accurate. Charitable giving grew 5 percent in 2020 to $471 billion, making it a record-breaking year and shattering expectations.

“Our research shows a large majority of donors are confident in their financial security and optimistic about the future of the economy,” the new report says. “At the same time, donors are mindful that many people are still in need, and they have no intent to throttle back on their charitable giving.”

At the time the survey was conducted, more than two out of every three donors said they felt the COVID-19 crisis had “largely passed,” and fewer than one-in-three felt it was still a “significant problem” in their area.

More than seven out of every 10 donors said they’d be willing to meet in person with fundraisers or attend a small-scale fundraising event. About six in 10 said they would attend a large donor gathering now, with nearly eight out of 10 saying they’d be ready to go to a big event by year’s end. Older donors — ages 65-plus — were more reluctant to attend in-person events.

“Nonprofits should do everything they can to put hay in the barn now while the sun is shining,” Bakker said. “People are feeling economically secure, they’re feeling generous, and they see the real need around them. Who knows what’s going to happen in the future? But for the coming holiday giving season, there’s plenty to be optimistic about.”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice