USM Foundation

Fundraising Talks – March 2022

on March 12, 2022 by Micaela Cameron
Reflecting pool on campus

News and updates from the USM Office of Advancement Research

Letter from the Director

We are looking forward to seeing more sunshine and warmer days this month! With mask mandates being lifted along with other pandemic-related restrictions, nonprofits are eagerly planning for the return of in-person conferences, fundraising events, and other gatherings. However, we continue to face challenges that impact the global economy. We should stay vigilant about the landscape of philanthropy, try to focus on our strengths, and stay confident so that we can make this a successful fundraising year.

Higher education institutions have seen an increase in giving through online channels over past few years. Recently, Anthology published a report on 2021 online giving to higher education institutions. It reviews online giving data from 202 higher education institutions for the 2020 and 2021 calendar years. From this report, we learn that giving through online channels has risen over the years. In 2021, dollars raised through online giving increased by nine percent compared to 2020, and the number of gifts also increased ten percent. The following trends were identified in the report:

  1. Growth in online giving will continue
  2. There will be an increase in growth in digital wallet usage
  3. We will see growth of gamification that moves beyond giving days to campaigns throughout the year

By understating these trends, institutions can create strategies that make online giving more appealing and convenient to donors. Donors are redirecting their focus from giving pandemic-related assistance to other areas of interest such as student scholarship support and general unrestricted support. With this in mind, we need to use the best and most innovative ways to provide a great experience to donors that give through online platforms.

Fidelity Charitable’s 2022 Giving Report reflects on 2021 giving trends by Fidelity donors. The report shows that donors continued to generously support various causes in the community. Donors’ showed an increased level of commitment to giving in 2021. Donor-recommended grants exceeded $10 billion for the first time, which is a 41 percent increase over pre-pandemic levels. In 2021, donors increased the average size of their gifts to $4,614 – the average size of gift was $3,775 in 2012. This proves that donors are active and engaged in giving. The majority of donors opted to make unrestricted grants to the charities they support and provided flexibility to organizations to use these funds where it was needed most. The report also found that 66 percent of contributions to Fidelity Charitable were in the form of non-cash assets in 2021.

As we follow these events and trends that impact philanthropy, we can see that fundraising is shifting from a transactional viewpoint to a mode of powerful engagement that builds a strong transformative relationship with donors. Of course, data is fundamental in creating effective strategies and creating long-lasting relationships with prospects and donors.

As always, please 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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