Not-for-Profit Fundraising Profiting After Making the Switch to Digital
2015 is looking to be a prosperous year for New York area not-for-profits, according to an annual survey for Crain's by the Association of Fundraising Professionals-New York chapter. Professional fundraisers in the New York area are in agreement, saying that they are optimistic about this year's fundraising environment. More than half (52%) of these organizations are even taking steps towards hiring development staff to take advantage of this generous climate, compared with just 29% who reported hiring additional hands last year.
This fundraising shift is thanks to the region’s vast wealth of individual and corporate donors in high-paying industries like finance and business services. The Crain’s survey noted that in 2014, charitable giving was up 4.4% in the U.S., the fourth straight year of increased donations since the Great Recession, according to the annual Giving USA report by Indiana University's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
Along with the change in attitude toward giving, there’s been a shift in the way individuals and corporations choose to make their donations. Last year, the YMCA received about 13,000 gifts, 11,000 of them from individuals or families whose average donation was $530. Gary Laermer, the YMCA’s senior vice president and chief development officer, noted that social media's immediacy has made fundraising easier. Now donors can give whenever they want instead of waiting for something in the mail. Utilizing Facebook, Twitter and other social media can also help drive awareness of the cause for both current and potential donors, which can set the stage for increased giving.