Guidance on COVID-19

As we continue to monitor information regarding the not-for-profit sector, the most recent data from a Fidelity Charitable Survey backs multiple data points coming from Indiana’s School of Philanthropy and real-time information we’ve gathered from our clients and webinars across the not-for-profit sector over the last several weeks. Below are six key takeaways from this survey, but we encourage you to go directly to the report here.

  • Almost 80% of donors plan to maintain or even increase their level of giving
  • A clear majority of donors plan to continue supporting their usual charities
  • Communication is more essential than ever as donors struggle to understand where their dollars can do the most good
  • Baby boomers, in particular, need organizations to tell them how they can be helpful
  • Almost half of millennials plan to increase their giving in response to the current environment
  • Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) remain attractive vehicles to seek out for support

In addition to the above data points, we believe the following should be considered in your donor communications:

  1. Make your appeal as early as possible. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: if your case for support was valid two months ago, it is valid now. In fact, it is probably more valid now given our current environment.
  2. Make it easy to donate (offer multiple channels, such as email, social media, phone, and mail). Any of these channels can be applied to P2P appeals, which will create a more rapid response.
  3. Make it fun! The ALS Ice Bucket challenge is just one example of a successful P2P fundraiser because it was simple and engaging. Similarly, some organizations have used platforms like Tik-Tok and Instagram to design creative fundraising appeals.
  4. Emphasize the CARES Act’s limited-time benefit of a $300/$600 tax write-off for individuals/couples who don’t itemize their taxes. As the polling shows, people want to be responsive to organizations’ needs in this uncertain environment and being able to donate to an organization they love allows them to demonstrate that agency. If there is a tax incentive to go with that, so much the better.

Stay safe, and we hope to see you in person soon.