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Top 10 Ways Major Donors are Changing and What To Do About It

Posted by Winspire

Here is a great article from Gail Perry about 10 ways your major donors are changing in today's fundraising landscape. In her list she outlines the general mood of major donors, which demographic segments are best targeted and some best practices for getting the best bang for your buck.

By Gail Perry in her blog GailPerry.com

Major donors have changed a lot in what they want and expect from nonprofits.

Ten years ago, you could raise good money with a “spray and pray”  appeal that was boring and generic.

Now we have to work harder and smarter.

The good news is that we can rely on plenty of research about major donors. What are they are thinking about their philanthropy and nonprofits?

I’ve culled through the research – and here are my Top 10 Major Donor Trends for 2013 – along with a strategy to ride each trend productively.


Trend 1. Donors are wary of trusting us.

Trust is a huge issue these days. What can you do to help your donors trust you?

Timothy Ogden, the author of Guidestar’s “More Money for More Good”, claimed yesterday that donors do NOT pick nonprofits based on their impact. What?

Instead, he said that donors choose charities based on personal relationships. Wow.

Agree or not – he does have a huge point.

Getting to know major donors personally is a must.

How can they trust you if they don’t know you? Why would they invest in you?

Your Strategy: Build trust by fostering personal relationships with your major donors.


Trend 2. The Boomers are becoming the #1 donor population.

Boomers, how do we love thee?

Boomers own most of the nation’s wealth, they are more generous than the Silent Generation, and they volunteer in droves.

What do boomers want? They want personal self-expression.

They want to express their passions and their individuality. They want to be involved.

Your Strategy: Let Boomers’ personal passions and interests guide their cultivation plan. Help them connect to what is most meaningful to them.


Trend 3. Older ladies are THE major donor demographic.

Here’s something amazing. Women are far, far more generous than men. (Hey, we knew this, didn’t we?)

A recent study found that women are more than TWICE as generous than men.

For every $100 boomer and older men gave, women in the very same economic circumstances gave $258!!

Women are more likely to give to charity, and they are more likely to give more. (Women Give 2012, Women’s Philanthropy Institute, Indiana University.)

Your Strategy: Review your prospect lists. Reevaluate the giving capacity of the ladies. Get to work and go see them.


Trend 4. Donors want Donor-Centered communications.

Donors don’t want to hear you talking talking talking about how wonderful you are... Read More

Industry News, Donor Relations

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