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Rossi’s Roundup: Nonprofit news and insights from the start of 2023

Rossis roundup-1My job—and my passion—is to help our clients navigate the ever-changing landscape of fundraising and marketing. One of the ways I do so is by keeping them informed about what’s happening across the nonprofit industry. 

For years now, I’ve sent out monthly emails that compile articles, news, studies, polls, research—you name it—from every corner of the charitable giving space. 

Starting now, I’ll expand my audience by sharing these insights in a new blog feature called Rossi’s Roundup. We’ll start by catching up on 2023. 

So, what’s been breaking news in philanthropy over the last four months? Well, a lot! Grab a beverage and enjoy. 

1. Giving by Generation (Giving USA Special Report)

giving generationThis report, released Jan. 31, 2023, covers how different generations are currently engaging with charitable giving and how that behavior has significantly shifted over the past six years.  

Overall, donor sentiment toward responding to direct mail has stayed steady since 2016, with likelihood going from 3.5 to 3.4. Interestingly, Millennials are the most likely to respond, scoring an intensity rating of 3.5 compared to 3.3 for both Gen X and Boomer donors. 

donors by generation who would welcome a monthly direct mail letter

When it comes to direct mail motivating an online gift, we found that it has actually increased as a medium for motivating such a response from Millennials and Boomers. Not surprisingly, the Boomer generation is more likely for direct mail to motivate an online gift. 

donors by generation who have been influenced to give online gift by direct mail

Speaking of direct mail, this current study shows that it is still a viable medium to generate a gift. In fact, as you can see from the chart below, Millennials are more likely to respond to direct mail now than they were in 2016, with nearly 6 out of 10 (59 percent) saying they are somewhat likely or very likely to respond.  

donors by generation who have been influenced to give by direct mail

When asked how they prefer to respond to a direct mail appeal, a plurality of all generations except Boomers prefer to give online. However, it’s important to note that this preference has increased among both Gen X and Boomer donors. 

donors by generation who prefer to give online to direct mail 

2. FEP data: Donations decline for the first time since 2012

FEPDespite donor counts falling in five out of the last six quarters, giving dollars had stubbornly hung on to marginal growth in Q2 and Q3 2022, primarily driven by large donors. However, according to FEP’s latest quarterly data, the continuing decrease in donors of all types in Q4 was accompanied by a notable weakness in total dollars.  

The full FEP Q4 2022 report is available here.  

3. Study: Americans are generally positive about charitable giving and nonprofits but know little about philanthropy, have concerns about transparency

lilly schoolAt a time when there is concern about public confidence in society’s institutions, Americans have a broadly favorable impression of charitable giving and nonprofit organizations. But a new study from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy finds that many know relatively little about how philanthropy functions, its impact on their lives or how its current controversies could shape the future.

4. Value of volunteer time reached nearly $32 per hour in 2022

candidIndependent Sector (IS) has announced that the estimated value of a volunteer hour in the United States reached $31.80 in 2022, up 6.2 percent from 2021.

5. The Chronicle of Philanthropy: Economic Outlook 

chronicleHere’s a closer look at some of the economic data experts say nonprofit officials should be watching: inflation, the stock market, unemployment and consumer confidence.

6. Navigating economic uncertainty in 2023

freewill-1During a recession ...

  • Donors prioritize what’s important to them.
  • Individual motivations for charitable giving go beyond finances, involving personal values.
    Percent of income given to charity is fairly consistent.
  • There aren’t significant shifts in the share of income spent in each category, including charitable giving.
  • Average income donated to charity ranges from 3% to 5% of annual gross income.

7. Cities where inflation is rising the most

wallethubInflation is rising more quickly in some places than others. WalletHub compared 22 major Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) across two key metrics related to the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation. 

Source: WalletHub

Metropolitan areas where inflation is rising the most:

  1. Philadelphia, 84.6
  2. Detroit, 83.3
  3. Phoenix, 81.8
  4. Seattle, 81.6
  5. Atlanta, 76.1
  6. Tampa, 71.9
  7. Houston, 66.0
  8. San Francisco, 64.7
  9. Baltimore, 58.7
  10. Dallas, 58.1
  11. Denver, 57.2
  12. Louis, 47.7
  13. San Diego, 46.5
  14. Chicago, 42.4
  15. Washington, D.C., 37.9
  16. New York, 23.9
  17. Boston, 22.6
  18. Honolulu, 18.2
  19. Riverside, 17.1
  20. Anchorage, 16.4
  21. Minneapolis, 14.6
  22. Los Angeles, 3.9


8. Check out more great posts, podcasts and webinars

groupthinkersBlog updates:

Podcast updates:

Fundraising Refreshments (20-minute webinars):

Video captures attention. It gives your audience a window into your brand in ways an image can't. Chris Weiland reviews best practices to help you produce better videos.

Newsletters are a terrific way to strengthen the relationship with your donors. Lisa Rossi shares tangible tips on how to reshape newsletters around your donors' interests.

Lisa Rossi

Lisa has decades of experience working with animal welfare organizations. An accomplished fundraising strategist, Lisa helps our clients craft effective strategies that lead to growth and high-value donors.

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