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Dispelling 5 Common Fundraising Myths

Thanks to many studies and research, we have much more information about giving trends, donor behaviors, and motivations that can inform how we best engage with our donors. This episode dispels common fundraising myths around recent trends in fundraising, donor motivations, ways donors give, and changing donor demographics.

Barbara O’Reilly, Founder and Principal | Windmill Hill Consulting

Barbara O’Reilly, CFRE understands that fundraising is much more than just raising money. It’s about enabling donors to realize their philanthropic dreams for issues that are most important to them and to be part of the change they want to see in the world. She brings to her clients nearly thirty years of major gifts, annual fund, and campaign fundraising experience at major non-profit organizations including Harvard University, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Oxford University in England, and the American Red Cross. She is an AFP Master Trainer and a frequent guest presenter on various webinars. Her consulting firm, Windmill Hill Consulting, helps non-profit organizations of all sizes cut through the noise and develop a profitable fundraising strategy that focuses on the resources, skills and tactics they need to build more effective donor relationships and catapult their revenue.



Logan Colegrove 00:00:01:11

Welcome to Connected Philanthropy in today’s episode. Five Myths about Fund Raising are dispelled by our guest, Barbara O’Reilly. Barbara has three decades of fundraising experience at major nonprofit organizations, including Harvard, Oxford and American Red Cross. She also became a certified fundraising executive in 2015 and is a past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. So without further ado, here’s Barbara.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:00:38:00

What I want to be able to do today is share with you five myths that I keep hearing over and over again. Whether it’s in conversations, at conferences or in meetings with clients or just I see in some of our publications or the social media conversations and I want to dispel them for you. This is we have the benefit of having so much research and studies and really good trends analysis now that are at our fingertips that are easy to access.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:01:09:04

So there are some ways that we can dispel misconceptions and rethink how we view some of these things. Now, there are many more mixed and five, of course, but these are the five that I keep hearing over and over again. And I thought this is a good starting point to help us all rethink our perceptions about fund raising.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:01:29:14

Okay, So myth number one, most donations come from foundations and corporations. This is definitely not true. The average estimated revenue in philanthropic giving has been has continued to grow, certainly since the last recession in 2009. But what’s interesting is the how the money breaks down Individual giving is comprising about 67% of that bequests, which is also from individuals.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:02:04:08

About 9% of that foundation’s interestingly, about half of that generally is coming from family foundations. Now, one slight disclaimer is that that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is considered a family foundation. So that number is a little bit skewed. But on average, about about half of that is coming from individuals. So the individual piece of the pie, which is certainly the largest bequests, and then about half of that, we’re talking almost about 89, 90% roughly I do my math correctly, is coming from individuals of some sort that the part of the piece of the pie that surprises everyone is corporations.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:02:45:09

And if you look just even at the numbers, the amount that was given in bequests is double. The amount that was given in came from corporations last year. So just let that set sit with you for a second. The amount that was given by individuals who have left nonprofits in their estate plans was double what corporations gave from therefore from their profits last year.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:03:08:11

So this number, in fact, a percentage of the pie that 4% is actually decreased from, I think 2020 and maybe probably even 2019. It has always been about five, six, maybe a little, maybe maybe 7%, but really never more than that. And it has actually decreased. We saw this starting to change with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act when it went into effect in 2018.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:03:30:21

And yes, we saw the amount of money that corporations gave in 2021 increased over the previous year or two. The percentage is still pretty small. So when you are getting pressure, either you’re pressuring yourself or you’re getting pressure from your senior leaders or board to be going after more corporate money. Reminder, remind everybody about this, what we’re seeing in terms of national trends.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:03:56:02

Corporations are no longer incentivized to give out of their gains philanthropically. It usually would be coming from their profits and many of them will be claiming that they have their profits have shrunk over the last couple of years when we know certainly there are some sectors or some business lines that have been definitely seeing a boon. So the reality is, though, that companies are all across the board thinking of rethinking how they’re doing their philanthropy.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:04:24:18

They’re also really thinking about how they measure that impact of their gifts and their grants and their sponsorships. So it might actually end up being way too much effort for you for maybe no new gift or a very small gift. So think about where you might diversify those sources and just recognize that just generally across the country, individuals in some way, shape or form, whether they’re living, whether through their estate plans or whether through some family family foundations there, they are tending to give much more than that.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:04:58:24

Okay. So myth number two, everyone might be your donor, if only they knew about you. This is the sort of if only we could send out more social media posts. If only we could send out more emails. If only so and so and so. And so and such and such. Company Foundation. Fill in the blank knew about us.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:05:20:10

Of course they would give to us. Why do you think donors give? The reason why I’m starting with this to dispel this myth is because just because you exist as a nonprofit doesn’t mean everyone’s going to give to you and everyone is your donor or ideal donor or potential donor. Because when we look at the research that has been done about donor motivations, what drives donors to give and we have a lot of research now, whether it’s this this study that was done by U.S. Trust, which is now Bank of America’s high net worth philanthropy, or it’s Penelope Burke’s to two and a half decades worth of donors, surveys and studies or many other reports

Barbara O’Reilly 00:06:04:12

that have been have been done about donor motivations and give and reasons for giving. Mission and impact are the two words that I see consistently across all of these reports and studies. There has to be a connection to the mission. What’s interesting, complete assignment to geek out a little bit, but there has been some studies that have been done around donors who make who are thinking about their estate plans.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:06:30:13

There’s a lot of neuroscience that goes into how we’re how giving and volunteering affects us in terms of our brains. And what’s interesting is that the parts of the brain that light up when we’re thinking about our estate plans are the parts of the brains that are around how we eat, how we how we view ourselves, and what’s the story that we tell ourselves about our life.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:06:51:18

And that’s basically in a nutshell, the two parts of the brains of Fire Up. And so in a lot of ways, giving is about our connection to whatever the causes. And we want to make a difference. And we we are choosing the organization that is going to have that what we perceive as the best impact in that mission, in that cause.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:07:12:09

So those two, they’re are what we have to remember when we are trying to identify who our potential donors are, because it isn’t going to be everybody. Not everyone’s going to be supporting animal charities, not everyone’s going to be supporting cancer organizations. Not everybody’s going to be supporting human services or educational organizations or the arts or fill in the blank.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:07:33:00

So we want to remember that our donors are thinking about what drives them. They’re looking to the organizations that have that best potential and that’s that’s how those are the lenses through which they are making their giving decisions. All of these other aspects are really interesting to note, and especially for the bit at the end where the tax benefit or that they were asked because you think about your own giving habits or think about the donors who who, whom you’ve gotten to know.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:08:04:12

Sometimes they aren’t asked. They are just compelled by their own philanthropic drivers that they decide to make a gift completely honest, their self soliciting. So that piece of it is probably. Yes. We, of course, want to ask and we want to make a regular cadence of asking and thinking and reporting. But it’s always the two most important drivers are that mission and the impact.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:08:29:17

So if we know that giving and volunteering have such a powerful effect on us and literally changes the chemistry of our brains, then why do donors stop with? It’s vague. It’s about programs that are uninteresting for that person. It’s boring. It’s maybe that that organization has the incorrect information. It’s not suited to who they are. It isn’t personalized.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:08:49:21

And so any one of these has an influence on whether that donor is going to pay attention to your communications. So think about the reason the mission has to be aligned with them. And there has to be they have to know that there’s an impact that’s going to happen because of their gift of any amount. So if what they receive back from the organization they support is not showing impact, it’s not talking about the dreams and the vision and the progress towards solving whatever the problem is.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:09:20:19

They’re going to tune out. They’re going to just find it not interesting to them. We also know, though, that when we can ask donors, how do they like to hear from the organization, what do they want to learn more about it? What times of year are the best for them to receive information from the organization? That changes the dynamic a little bit because it it now says, I want to send you information, but I want to make sure it’s the information that you’re interested in.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:09:48:12

Tell me more. Do you want to receive it electronically? Do you want to receive it by print? Would you like a phone call every once in a while to hear more about how our work, your work, your gift is being put into action? Those just slight changes in how we communicate in a two way format will make a world of difference.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:10:09:16

Now, having said that, I recognize that the tech capabilities are going to be wildly across the board. So you have to do what’s best for your capacities, but where you can try to personalize as much as possible, try to get to know who those donors are, because they’ve already now signaled that they they believe in your mission and they believe in your organization and you want to be able to report back so that you’re answering that question about impact.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:10:37:21

Did my gift make a difference? Okay. So are people really giving now? And the answer is yes and no. We’re still seeing, you know, despite the giving you a report showing record numbers, record amount for 484 billion, which is either a 4% increase over 21, or if you adjust for inflation, it’s pretty flat that like a point seven or something increase.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:11:04:21

So yeah, but it’s still showing up more than we ever expected. But individual giving as a whole has remained at about 2% of our GDP for, I think the last two decades. Easily more concern is that the number of donors and volunteers is declining and that has declined by about 20% or so. 26% over the last two decades.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:11:30:16

So that is the number of groups that the data point that you all want to be paying attention to. You want to be looking at your donor files, you to be looking at your volunteer corps. Are they are they staying? So this ties back to donor retention, which is is a whole different conversation. But the number of donors collectively has been declining.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:11:53:15

And we’re we need to make sure we don’t see that added at a sort of a catastrophic level where philanthropy becomes becomes in crisis. So pay attention to your own numbers and understand that donors are going to be doing different things Right there we see the rise of crowdfunding. We see how so many are now supporting Go Fund Me campaigns.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:12:16:23

They’re giving more directly to two causes and people because that’s where they feel like their gift might have more impact. So we want to be paying attention to that. Making gifts are definitely on the rise and they have been on the rise for a number of years now. We’re there to the point where I think there’s a little bit of we get a little bit of starry eyed distraction.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:12:36:10

We’re all hoping that our organizations are going to be the next recipients of Mackenzie Scott’s gifts. But we also we sometimes can’t. We all we can never lose sight of who are already donor donating to us, who are the donors who have been sticking by us year over year? Yes, pay attention to those larger gifts. But but, but.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:12:56:02

But. Till the soil, so to speak, of what you of the ground that you’re standing on, make sure that you are attending to your donors because some of your larger donors are going to be in your pool now they’re going to be giving probably much lower than you would ever pop to the surface. And so you want to make sure that you are stewarding on the building those engagements so they feel more inclined to stick around.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:13:19:12

Yes, economic uncertainty. We are seeing record levels of inflation. We’re forecasting. Jamie Dimon of Goldman Sachs is forecasting a recession to start sometime in 2023. Despite all of this and despite the fact that the world may feel on fire, do not stop fundraising. Trust your donors. Let them make the decision that they are, that they will make a gift to you or not, or what level they will make a gift.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:13:43:14

So keep your fundraising plans going because it is much harder to stop and start and stop and start. You will lose donors guaranteed. So keep your keep your nose on your plans and keep engaging with your audience. We because we know that donors over the last two years when everything seemed like it was you, another moment of Now what?

Barbara O’Reilly 00:14:06:14

Now what? Every single week or day or month giving in 2021 was was definitely high higher amount wise. But we know that they that people are giving through giving Tuesday giving Tuesday that we’re all gearing up for last year was raised $2.7 billion. It has over the last ten years has really catapulted in terms of inspiring people around the world to participate in some way in philanthropy by giving Tuesday.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:14:36:06

Total aside is not for everybody, though, so just manage your expectations of how you spend your limited bandwidth. But this is another way that people are expecting to be reminded to be giving, and they are continuing to show up even in 2020 when Giving Tuesday now was started in May of 2020 as that sort of giving day to try to bolster even more support for COVID related causes that I think raised half a billion dollars in May, which again, out of the normal cycle and on top of all the other philanthropy that we were seeing just accrue in such a short period of time when the pandemic started, we also saw that crypto has been

Barbara O’Reilly 00:15:21:09

now a aside from the recent crash of FDX, we know that crypto has been an increasing way of people making charitable contributions. I will only leave this here. This could be a completely different conversation. I will leave this here just to say that as we saw in, say 13, 14 years ago, donor advised funds were starting to hit the market.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:15:46:13

People were curious about what were these dafs, what these things called dafs donor advised funds, what do we do? How do they function? How do we how do we fundraise around them? How do we communicate and get to know the people who hold Dafs We’re kind of in that same space. I feel like with crypto, because we if feels for many of us, you know, there’s there’s bitcoins, there’s sort of crypto money and then there’s fiat money, which they call like regular U.S. dollar.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:16:12:15

You regular dollars or whatever your currency is. And but yet there are 21 million in the U.S. who are crypto owners. The number of globally is significantly more. But these donor these holders are also charitable. And if you look at nearly half, about half of those crypto holders donate in a thousand or more in 2021 through crypto. That’s these numbers are worth paying attention to.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:16:40:17

Fidelity. Also, again, talk about sort of juxtaposition of different audiences. Fidelity reported that they had about 300 million in part contributed in contributions to donor advised funds from with with crypto. So kind of feels a little bit anachronistic. Have a donor advised bondholder who also owns crypto because they’re completely they feel like different people, different personas and they are in a lot of ways.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:17:04:17

But this is a new way that this or Venmo or PayPal or adjusted stocks have been for a long time. These are ways that donors are looking to give. So we need to be recognizing that our that our trends are are in this direction and then retention. So we have been tracking as best as we can in the sector how what’s the percentage of donors who are giving year over year and this number has been declining, especially over the last couple of years.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:17:37:09

I think we’ve seen a down to if it’s 43%, sometimes it goes down to 40 to 41%. It has been declining. So we have to pay attention to the fact that on average, nonprofits across the sector are losing almost 60% of their donors each and every year. And for first time donors that number is even worse. It’s about 20%.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:18:03:18

So everything we have to think about in our donor communications has to be focused on how do we keep those donors engaged. Going back to why donors give, why they stop giving other trends that we have been seeing is that new new donors of 500 or more were likely were more likely to be retained. Interesting, right? Because if you think about the new donors are probably self soliciting and there there’s something about that cause that’s prompting them to make a larger than a larger gift than the sort of a strategy in I’m going to make you write a $25 check, right?

Barbara O’Reilly 00:18:42:11

Or at least I still write checks, but make a $25 gift. So that’s worth paying attention to. Who are those New donors are coming through your door. Donors under $500 have been shrinking. And this is sort of part of the what I was referencing before that, you know, those smaller donors, the donors who how would you typically be defined as your mid-level donors?

Barbara O’Reilly 00:19:05:09

They had been starting to disappear since about 2018 when the Tax Cut and Jobs Act went into effect. Coincidentally, we also started seeing more and more reports of mega gaffs. And so there might be a correlation between the two. It might just be that they are no longer able to itemized deductions. And so we can’t we can no longer track that level of giving in the way that we used to regardless, All of this means that you really want to be paying attention to not just your setting, your fundraising goals, but what are your metrics around donor retention?

Barbara O’Reilly 00:19:39:22

What are your metrics around average gift? Pay attention to those and use those to guide how you engage and how you’re measuring your progress, because you could be hitting your revenue goals each and every year. You might even be exceeding your revenue goals. But if you’re losing your donors and it becomes more churn, there’s a lot of spent time when that when the match when the percentages of retention percentages are not going to be in your favor.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:20:06:24

We as organizations want to talk about all these things on the lapped, who we are, what our values are, why we think the work of the donor should support us, or why we think we’re different. All these things the donor actually wants to hear all these other things, right? That you what you’re going to do with my mom, my gift.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:20:21:23

What did I make the right decision to support you? Do you value me? Do you want to know what drives me right. So it goes back to why donors stop giving that. It’s impersonal, it’s boring. It doesn’t really relate to them, all of these things. But ultimately it’s about how you solved a problem together. Be clear Those donors on every level have been helping to move the needle in your mission and your visions.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:20:46:15

So think about these. The sort of this comparison of how we we have often been as as charities and nonprofits been talking about our work, what we know donors want to hear and find in your own organizations the balance between those two. Okay, so myth number three digital and social media are most important or most effective and most important.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:21:12:21

We’re going to only spend our time on that. I hate to break it to you, but we live in a hyperconnected 21st century world and we are being bombarded all the time with lots of platforms, lots of alerts, push notifications, text messages, everything, emails. And we saw this for sure to change our quite noticeably, frankly, in 2020, online giving grew the most over the last two years by about 21 to 32% in an online giving has his has been historically over the last probably ten, 15, 20 years then only about 20% of contributed revenue contributed gifts as far as we can track.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:21:59:16

But it grew quite, quite noticeably over the last two years because why everybody was sort of stuck at home and stuck on their devices, mail had sort of stopped, so people started to turn to their platforms, social media platforms, online websites, so forth, and started making gifts that way. That doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s the way people want to be communicated with on a regular basis.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:22:22:10

How they give does not indicate their communication preference. So we want to really understand going back to those questions, I suggested, ask those donors, how do you want to hear from us? I know personally I prefer print pieces because my inboxes are a complete hot mess and so if I get an email, I might or might not read it.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:22:43:20

Frankly, I might, depending on the day. Just do a whole in my personal email. I might just do a whole massive select all and delete because I just won’t ever have time to read them. And that’s what we’re feeling with our own with our own donors payment options. I talked about that, you know, pay in addition to crypto, PayPal, Venmo, QR codes, these are all ways that we’re seeing donors wanting to pay Apple Pay.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:23:10:11

Can you can they make their gift because they’re giving on their devices And we’re seeing trends that that people are giving more are starting to get more on their devices tablets or phones then on their desktops. Not quite not quite surpassing it yet, but it’s starting to increase Facebook for sure now, over the 6 billion mark and Facebook fundraisers.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:23:30:09

Phenomenal. This is a way that people have been using to catalyze and to do crowdfunding, to promote and advocate for organizations and causes that are important to them amongst their networks. Dapps We’ve for sure we saw a huge surge and again, these numbers are are are variable because it depends on who’s reporting them. But the number that they’re significant, a million plus staffs, at least at least 35, 34 billion in contributions.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:24:01:02

We saw this just escalate over the last couple of years, in part also because Fidelity and Vanguard and Schwab all released the minimum contributions to open a death. So part of that number, that million dollar that million number probably was people. Now it felt it was more accessible to open a Das and wanted to use that as a as a giving vehicle.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:24:26:24

So yet despite all of these digital ways of payment adage and maze of giving and ways of communicating, direct mail is definitely not dead. We know that donors are three times more likely to give online in response to a direct mail appeal that they get. So it is often the silent and silent and unsung hero of how we’re raising our money so somebody will get a print piece.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:24:56:19

It’s tactile. They’re feeling it, They’re seeing it. They there’s a smell to the paper or the cardstock, whatever it is. Golly gee, it’s something other than a bill or junk mail in their mailbox. Hooray. I’m going to open this up. They’re going to take a look at it and they might be reminded, Oh, I think I saw something in my email about from this organization or thought, okay, I really I’m inspired by what I read.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:25:19:11

I’m going to go online and make a gift because that’s how I prefer to give. That’s going to be the driver. And so the two together have been shown to really increase the lift, the lift response, the lift rates. So direct mail alone, about 6% response rate. But when you combine it with web and email, it lifts that response rate by about 30 by about 30%.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:25:44:10

Okay. So myth number four, we’ve got to just focus on our younger audiences. They’re the future. They’re the donors that we’ve got to get right now. Well, guess what? Not not the case right now. In fact, this has been, regardless of whether it was the millennials or the now it’s the Joneses. At some point it was the Gen Xers who were the younger audiences.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:26:06:21

But they they the younger audiences have not historically been the donors or the potential donor audience that we should be spending our time on. Boomers are still right now the ones that we want to be focusing on, followed very closely now with Gen X and Millennials. Gen Z is yes, but chances are also giving differently. And so they are the ones, I think, who are going to drive the changes in giving giving vehicles.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:26:37:14

They’re the ones who are driving crypto. They’re the ones who are going to be driving that donor that the multichannel, the the elect, the digital forms of payment. And they’re also doing things differently in how they crowdsource, how they’re fit. They’re doing more on Facebook. They’re doing probably not on Facebook, but they’re doing more through collaboration and they’re thinking differently about the impacts of their gifts.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:27:03:00

So this doesn’t mean that you ignore completely your younger audiences. Not at all. You want to be really calm building in that that that cadence of for all of your donors and inactive donors and maybe even potential donors. But it where you focus your time, it needs to recognize who are the donors who are ready to give now and have the ability to give now and then.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:27:27:04

How do you engage those donors of the future? So those changes and whoever follow, whatever generation follows after them, they’re they’re going to engage differently. They’re going to maybe give up their time first, then they’re going to be you want to know how they want to be involved as volunteers, as donors, what they expect back, because each of these generations is also expects back very different things from the nonprofit.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:27:51:21

So some studies I’ve seen have shown that the Matures actually gives the nonprofits a wide range of space to make mistakes, to not have their stewardship plans in place, to not really report back. They’re really less less worried about that because they have grown up as philanthropists in an age when all of these multi-channel, all of these ways of communicating didn’t really exist.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:28:20:10

So focus on all of your audiences, but don’t do it to the exception or the exclusion of any one generation because they all say they’re all going to give in some way. They’re all going to have their own drivers along those, not those personal motivations, but it’s going to be maybe recategorized or may be coming out and seen in different ways depending on that generation.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:28:48:02

Okay. So myth number five, I’ve just preface by saying we’re in record inflation and we’re go we’ve gone through two years of a constant. Now what’s saying to each other and doing a sort of a spin and a pirouette with everything that we’ve had to face, now we’re facing end of year record inflation, probably a recession, if Jamie Diamond is correct.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:29:15:09

Oh, my gosh, we’ve been here before this is definitely not the right time. We’re just going to this is not we’re going to hold we’re not going to say anything because everything is going on. And there are two things I want to say. If you if the numbers I’ve shared earlier tell you anything, giving has never stopped even looking back over the last 60 years at the Giving Institute and giving you, as say, have been tracking.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:29:41:01

We’ve seen moments of economic inflections, whether it was the dot com bubble burst, whether it was the the the inflation and recession in the seventies and eighties, whether it was the Great Recession of 2008, 910, giving has more or less stayed steady with the exception of the Great Recession of 2008, nine and ten. It dipped a bit, but it rebounded pretty quickly.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:30:04:20

And now we’ve been going record number at record amount zero. We’re giving up never stops. So let your donors tell you how they want to give when they want to give, if they will give in. In the early days of the pandemic, there were some saw, some studies that were done a few different ones that I was tracking.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:30:27:21

And what they said was that the donors basically said that they will continue to give they’ll give to the organizations that are important to them, and they will give to the to those emerging needs because they know that their communities are hurting. And they were also weighing very seriously how much they’re going to give, whether they probably going to give more because they’re adding different causes that were more urgent and time sensitive.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:30:51:02

So we have to just suspend our own worries about the moment and invite and continue to invite our donors to be part of our work and our results. So let them tell, you know, don’t anticipate that they’re going to say no. So keep asking people, keep sharing the information. Let them say that whether this is a good time or not, if if we’ve seen anything over the last number of years, but certainly over the last two years, donors are stepping up in incredible ways.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:31:21:13

So if you are not asking your donors who are who have been giving to you during even the good old quieter days, you’re missing out and you’re leaving money on the table and they’ll probably go someplace else because they’re still they’re going to be looking for who’s going to be giving that impact. Who, who, where am I? Where can I fit into that storyline of the cause?

Barbara O’Reilly 00:31:42:01

That’s important to me. So Cliff notes, for those of you who remember Cliff notes, individuals versus corporate and foundation, no individuals are still the largest source of revenue. Everyone might be a donor. Know you’re going to want to focus on those people who in institutions and corporations who align really best with your mission. And it isn’t going to be everybody.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:32:06:03

And that is absolutely okay. Digital and social, we’re all going to stick with that. Absolutely not. Multichannel is continuing to prove over and over again that that’s the best way to keep the attention and try to get to where all the places are. Donors are focused on only younger donors. No, because we know that those who’ve got the disposable wealth or the disposable income to be able to make gifts are in starting Gen-Xers boomers.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:32:32:09

But you do still want to find ways to keep your younger donors in your younger audiences engaged so that they they will stay with you over time. And finally, it’s not the right time to ask. Nope, you can’t. You can’t ever just turn fundraising on and off. And in fact, the organizations that have turned fundraising on and off over time have really been the ones that struggle the most to rebound when things start to bloom again.

Barbara O’Reilly 00:32:55:20

So continue your asks. Let them let them make that decision. And and and just stay connected to them. Especially now.

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