Will the US presidential election devour your fundraising?

Afraid the US presidential election is going to crush your fundraising?

Don’t be. At least, don’t blame all your woes on the election.

A recent Blackbaud study, reported at npEngage (Giving in an Election Year) looked at giving in the last presidential election year, 2012, and compared it to giving in 2011. It showed small impact on charitable giving.

The study found that donors who gave to national political campaigns in 2012 also gave more to the charitable organizations in 2012 than they did in 2011.

The Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving showed a 1.7% increase in giving in 2012 over giving in 2011. This increase, however was not across all charitable sectors: Giving to religious organizations went up 6.1%; giving to education went up 1.6%. Giving to International Affairs, Healthcare, and Human Services went down 2011 to 2012.

It’s apparent that political fundraising doesn’t meaningfully siphon dollars away from nonprofits. But many of us have seen some negative impact on fundraising campaigns, especially in the weeks leading up to the early November elections. The negative effect is often stronger in battleground states than in others.

It’s probably wise to lower your expectations for fundraising campaigns this fall, especially in October. But the sky is not falling!

Download the study here (PDF; registration required).


Comments

2 responses to “Will the US presidential election devour your fundraising?”

  1. David P Himes Avatar
    David P Himes

    This is just additional confirmation of your point.
    Several years back I worked for one of the national committees of the Republican Party. We conducted a survey of our active donors. One of the questions asked donors to take $100 and divide it up among whatever charities / non-profits / political committees they would give it to.
    Combined all of the political answers received only three percent (3%) of the $100. That simply shows the priority of political donors.

  2. David P Himes Avatar
    David P Himes

    This is just additional confirmation of your point.
    Several years back I worked for one of the national committees of the Republican Party. We conducted a survey of our active donors. One of the questions asked donors to take $100 and divide it up among whatever charities / non-profits / political committees they would give it to.
    Combined all of the political answers received only three percent (3%) of the $100. That simply shows the priority of political donors.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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