USM Foundation

Fundraising Talks – December 2021

on December 9, 2021 by Micaela Cameron
Reflecting pool on campus

News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research

Letter from the Director

The holidays are here and it’s time for year-end giving! ‘Tis the season to celebrate your donors and the completion of another extraordinary year of the “new normal.” GivingTuesday, the annual fundraising day that falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, saw record-breaking giving by millions of people around the world this year. This confirms the findings we’ve discussed in other newsletters this year, that show a steady increase in generosity from donors. We hope your institutions experienced an increase in giving on GivingTuesday, and that you continue to cultivate and steward these supporters so that they may become long-term donors.

Advancement Moving Forward: Perspectives on the challenges to philanthropy due to the COVID-19 Pandemic,” is the sixth in a series of reports by Washburn & McGoldrick. This latest report discusses the findings of Washburn’s November 2021 survey of advancement professionals. We have been following these reports and surveys since the beginning of the series in April 2020. The November survey was conducted on 455 fundraisers and examines the nature of their work and the impact of the pandemic in their respective areas. Some of the key findings of the survey include:
  • Confidence levels among advancement leaders to achieve fundraising goals increased from 82 percent to 90 percent, while confidence levels among gift and alumni officers decreased from 80 percent to 74 percent.
  • Fundraisers prefer a hybrid work setting as opposed to full-time remote work. This is different from what a similar survey found in May 2021, in which fundraisers preferred working remotely full time.
  • Fundraisers’ use of video conferencing for qualification and solicitation has increased since September 2020.
  • Frontline fundraisers are least confident about building a pipeline of donors and increasing momentum. Qualifying prospects appears to be the most challenging stage for fundraising staff.
  • One of the challenges that advancement professionals may encounter moving forward is applying lessons learned during the pandemic in the future.
Additionally, “COVID-19, Generosity, and Gender: How Giving Changed During the First Year of a Global Pandemic,” a study by The Indiana University Lily Family School of Philanthropy’s Women’s Philanthropy Institute, shared some insights on giving by households during the first year of the global pandemic. Overall, giving by all households increased during the time period of May 2020 and May 2021, while research indicates that both single women and married/partnered couples gave less to charity compared to pre-pandemic times and compared to single men. COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on various types of households, especially by income and wealth. Fundraisers should be sensitive to donors’ situations and create personalized appeals. Additionally, fundraisers should continue to communicate with donors that did not donate and try to find different opportunities to engage them.

We look forward to working with you in the New Year and helping you reach your fundraising goals. Once again, happy holidays to all. We wish you a safe and restful winter break.

As always, feel free to reach out us with questions, comments or any assistance with prospect research!

Best Regards,
Sapna and USM Advancement Research Team
Read more in this issue of Fundraising Talks>>
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