With philanthropy on the rise, now is the time to tell your story.
According to Charity Navigator, charitable giving in the U.S. increased in 2017 for the third year in a row, and experts predict the trend will continue this year. For the first time, giving exceeded the $400 billion mark, with giving by individuals accounting for 70% of the total. There are a number of theories to explain the increase in charitable giving, but one of the most intriguing explanations is the impact of the current news cycle.
While it may seem there’s more bad news today than ever before, that’s not reality. There has always been plenty of bad news. The difference today is consumers are inundated with updates, breaking stories and strong opinions from pundits on all sides. They come to us on every screen and via every social media platform. Over time, the barrage takes a toll.
The Pew Research Center released the results of a recent survey indicating more than 70% of Americans are experiencing news fatigue. On the surface, there doesn’t appear to be anything positive in those results, but a closer look reveals an opportunity.
When consumers are faced with thousands of messages conveying bad news each day, giving can become a defense mechanism. I can’t stop injustice, war and disasters from happening, but I can write a check to the charity of my choice. And when I do, it makes me feel better.
Writing that check provides us with a sense of accomplishment and the feeling of being in control. I did something to make the world, or at least my corner of it, a better place.
The current giving environment indicates now is the perfect time for nonprofit and social service organizations to share their mission, vision and goals in a thoughtful and compelling way. Americans are looking for ways to make an impact. And for causes they can embrace.
In our work with social service organizations, we stress the importance of widening the audience. Many organizations do a great job communicating with existing donors, which will always be a vital aspect of every giving campaign, but to advance giving to the next level, you have to engage potential donors who aren’t yet familiar with your work. It’s important to introduce yourself and give new audiences a reason to be excited about your organization and what you are achieving.
We are always energized by the generosity of our neighbors and the communities in which we live and work. We checked in with several of our nonprofit clients over the past few days to ask if giving for their organization is aligned with national trends. Each one of them reported giving was up year over year. Today’s giving environment tells us there is great potential for any organization that is ready to tell their story. Are you ready?
To learn more about the potential that exists in today’s giving environment, contact: