Importance of Individual Giving!

Individual giving is the biggest revenue stream for most Nonprofits, and it all starts with fundraising events.

According to Giving USA, gifts from individual donors accounted for 81% of giving in 2010, while only 19% of giving came from foundations and corporations. A more recent study conducted by Giving USA shows that this trend is continuing to grow. In 2014, corporate giving declined 3.2%, while donations from living Americans grew 2.7%. Individual donors are clearly necessary for Nonprofits to thrive.

For development teams, that means donor procurement, cultivation and stewardship need to be a focus every single day with the ultimate goal of establishing donor relationships that result in lifelong donors.

Here we break down the above graphic to explain the continuum of donor development:

The Donor Continuum

Donor Continuum (Events Entry Point)Events (Entry Point) – Fundraising events like dinner galas and golf tournaments are the point of entry where prospective donors are identified and first contact is made through their participation at the event. This could include socializing during cocktail hour or connecting with new guests over an auction item they win during the event.

Donor Continuum (Individual Gifts)Individual Gifts – At this point in the development process, you have active supporters who attend your fundraising events, make periodic donations to your organization throughout the year and occasionally spend big money.

Donor Continuum (Major Gifts)Major Gifts – These are donors who actively support your organization with large contributions year-round or at your events. These folks will usually interested in other unique opportunities for donating funds.

Donor Continuum (Planned Gifts)Planned Gifts – The Holy Grail of donor development! Donors who feel truly appreciated after a lifetime of investing in a cause will be more likely to bequest assets to an organization in the form of cash, equity or property.

Next week we will explore how you can use experiential travel to redirect liesure travel budgets to help develop these relationships and move prospective donors from cultivation to solicitation. Stay tuned!