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Benefits of Giving To Charity and some positive effects of donating.

Benefits of Giving To Charity

In our busy lives, we hardly can find time to help others, even though we so much want to. The empathy of others plight is the great connection that we feel as humanity in whole. But given the fact that we are living such a fast-paced life that this connection we want to feel, takes a back-step. We can’t all volunteer for a charity or organize humanitarian efforts and a regular day, but what we can do instead is support a charity and give in whatever way we can so that they are enabled to do such tasks and dedicate time to making things better in the world.

Of all the things you can do besides volunteering work is to donate to a charity. Although this also can be restrained at some times as money can be too tight at home. But even with a situation like this, there is hardly any reason to turn your back on charitable giving. Because we often give away our money unconsciously, like asking a waiter to keep change after your meal because you don’t need loose change jingling in your pocket.

But when it comes to consciously donating the money we often think of a reason not to. Often excuses like, ‘oh my donation hardly matters for such a huge cause’ or something like ‘the charities are all scams and the money won’t go to the deserving’.

When giving to charities even small donations matter a lot. People are equally aware of the poverty and misery around the world, and some people genuinely feel sorry about it. But most think it is hardly in their power to bring any changes. When the truth is that they hold most of the power.

And I use ‘they’ because we often miss the bigger picture where a whole community comes together to help someone. A collective effort always means success. Looking at the efforts as individually someone’s alone might be discouraging for a person. But when we look at what is possible at the hand of a group of people or a mass of supporters, the task becomes less daunting.

Charitable giving is the only way to solve poverty. Intervening in a poor society in an effective way can help break the cycle of generating one poor generation after another by that society.  Helping a community by providing it with effective healthcare will also reduce any future downfall of society and economy. Medical aids can help in the growth of that community’s financial support. And when this happens, that community will become self-dependant. When giving in an effective charity your donation in accumulation directly correlates to the progress of the receiver not just for today but for generations to come.

But money is the last thing that unites us, what does is the empathy to help each other. Not only is it beneficial for the society as whole but also to each one of us at a personal level. Some positive effects of donating are as follows:-

Feeling of Bliss

In a controlled experiment done by the National Institutes of Health, where the test subject was asked to donate a portion of their salary in whatever way, whatever amount seemed fit and whenever they wanted to donate. With these open parameters, the participants donated at their will. But it was found that with every donation there was an increased activity in the pleasure center of the brain. It is surprising to realize, even by the participants who might have seen giving away their hard earned money away, as a negative thing. But when they realized that their donation was bringing smiles on the receiver’s face, when they realized their little loss is actually a big gain for someone else, their attitude towards the act of donation became positive.

Benefit for Others

You might live in a country or a place where hardships are relevantly smaller than the ones in lesser developed countries. While we can wait for the right charity to come along seeking our help for their cause, people who are in need of your support right at this moment. There won’t be a right time to donate (donate whenever it is possible) and there is no right amount to donate (donate whatever little you can). Your money will help someone and help them to help someone else in return. What we fail to realize is that our one act is just a part of the chain reaction that will create a better community and hence a better world.

Tax Exemptions

Speaking of personal benefits, your donation helps in reducing your taxes. When you file for the tax return every year just mentioning your IRS approved transactions of donation, done throughout the year will help in reducing the amount of your taxable income. This is really helpful as ultimately it will end up in you paying a lot less money in taxes than originally.

Giving is convenient

Donating to a charity is the easiest way to nurture your philanthropy activity.  Yes, you can go ahead and vouch for volunteering for any charitable organization, but with the fast paced world today it is hard to engage yourself in such activities. It can often deter people from helping out. What they don’t realize that donating is equally liberating feeling.

Building Purpose in Life

Often we think about what we are meant to do in our life. Most spend time earning and saving money to survive and live a life of content. But what we don’t pay attention to is our own desire to make a prominent effect in the world and find a purpose.

There are others who have the same feelings and when a charity brings these people to work for a cause, their shared belief in the cause and their humanitarian ideologies will inspire others also. Being able to make an impact with your efforts in the real world will give the desired meaning and purpose to life. The simple act of giving can anchor your life and give a new navigation to it.

Inspiring the Next Generation

Kids often learn from their parents. If you are thrifty your kid will be empathizing towards the need of others. This, in turn, will create a chain reaction of generations to come that won’t care to help anyone else and the world will end up in selfish hands. So do donate whenever it is possible and then let your kid know. Talking to your kid about how your little effort will help someone, will only inspire the next generation and the ones to come after, to care.

Creating a Circle of Motivated People

Sharing the success story of the charity which you support will increase your respect in the eyes of your friends and family. When you become an active part of social charity you not only become an inspiration for your peers but also create a circle of motivated and inspired people who will be encouraged to donate and give to charities.

Helping in any Measure Possible

You don’t need to be a millionaire and make substantial donations to be able to see changes that you want to influence. Remember even an ocean is made of only small drops of water. Your donation might be small but in a bigger perspective, it is an integral puzzle piece that makes the whole charity a success. Even a dollar that you donate can mean a day’s meal for a child in Africa. So the truth is you don’t need much to become someone’s hero.

Improving Your Own Respect for Money

Another good effect of donating on a regular basis is that you yourself get more careful about your finances. When you understand the little amount you donate is capable of initiating big changes and change someone’s life, you realize the value of money. And with time you steadily make a constant effort to be reasonable with your expenses.

So now you know how giving can elevate not just a society in general but also you. One of the best things you would ever do with your money is to give some of it to charity. The emotional value of donating is unparalleled. When you donate money, that money is no longer just a piece of paper. The one who receives it, for them it is a bag of rice or a blanket for cold weather. When you can see our money with that perspective, your meaning of giving will change for forever.

Even if the donating is blissful in a biblical sense, what really makes us happy is the understanding that when donating people on both ends, the one who donates and the one who receives the donation, both are equally benefited.

And this knowledge is the basis of the foundation of a prosperous world. By giving away we solidify our common welfare. A smaller donation has an equal effect as the bigger one. And when everyone realizes the success stories of the donation, our stories become an inspiration to one who hears, which ultimately creates a collective consciousness.

Individual Giving Sets a New Record in 2016 Giving USA Study Reports

Americana sets  a new individual giving record in 2016, according to Giving USA Annual Report on Philanthropy released June 13, 2017.  It has been the fifth time in the history of their research that non-profits have experienced an increase in the amount of donors. With a major leap in individual donors, the amount of donation diverted to religion is also greater.

With 32% of the total donation amount gone to religious establishments, religious charities have become one of the major non-profits in America today. Last year alone donations made to religious institutions came up to almost a hundred and twenty-three billion dollars, which is an increase of 3% since last year. It’s is the highest amount ever in the history of this research, even with the inflation adjustment. It is the sixth consecutive year that the religious philanthropy has seen an increase. However, on a closer look, it isn’t as great as one would assume. In the five-year average growth in this category, it has been the slowest growth year in comparison to all other categories.

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Institutions coming in the religious category are congregations houses of worship, national religious entities, and missionary societies. But the drop in the average growth in the religious donations in these institutions are broadly based on two factors.

Related: Individual Giving On the Rise |  Charitable Giving Statistics 2017

Donor Behaviour

Memberships of churches and synagogues has seen an overall decline. The number of people who used to go to church weekly has also declined in the recent years. There are fewer people in the country who make a donation to their house of worship to strengthen their relationship with it.

Donation Accounting Methodology

Per the report findings, the major concern in general census is that the method of accounting in these religious institutions for religious giving is not as contemporary as it could be. The traditional method of bookkeeping and basic computation power might be making the donation management a bit exhausting task. The methodology for the accounting can be improved.

There are still some variations in the results of the report. For example, if a hospital foundation, even if it has religious affiliation, will still be counted in healthcare.

Giving USA Foundation has been investing resources to improve the approach of religious non-profits in attracting and maintaining its donors. If the current methodology of accounting is improved upon a lot more clear result can be procured.

In religious category total giving is spurred largely by individuals. For the start, the donor-receiver relationship matters more than just the numbers in the value of donations, and thus should be a priority concern.

Giving USA 2017: The Annual Report on Philanthropy was released to the public at 12:01 a.m. ET on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

Individual Giving On the Rise | Charitable Giving Statistics 2017

Americans gave $390.05 billion setting a record in giving to various non-profits all across America, states Giving USA’s Annual Report on Philanthropy.
All donor types, except the bequest category, increased since last year. The total growth in charitable giving has increased 2.7 %, though many acknowledge it as a moderate growth. Even though there was a drop in mega gifts of more than $200 million, the collective donations by individual donors have gone up 3.9%. The smaller amounts still made it to be the majority of the donations and the individual donors made up to 72% of the donors.
According to the Giving USA Report, American philanthropy has seen its third consecutive year of growth. And with the increasing number of generous donors, there is only a positive growth in years to come.

Related: Individual Giving Sets a New Record in 2016 Giving USA Study Reports

The infographic below, created by The Giving USA, The Giving Institute illustrates the numbers and giving trends by sub sectors.

Giving-USA-2017-Infographic

About Giving USA.

Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy is the longest-running and most comprehensive report on charitable giving in the United States. The annual report of 2017 was released on 13th June.

Peer to Peer fundraising – an introduction for non-profit organizations.

peer to peer fundraising

The growing ease with which we can share information has created the feeling of being connected with the rest of the world. Social media and other such technologies allow us to influence without undue difficulty the decisions made by our peers and colleagues, whether in relation to the food they eat, the clothes they wear or the organizations they support.

Given the explosion of technology, the growing popularity of peer to peer fundraising in recent years is hardly surprising.

Of all donors, 81% say they have no problem getting themselves approached for a donation by a friend: in comparison, 69% find it acceptable to mail.

Almost all donors have already responded to a request from a peer: 84% of donors say they have given at least once for a friend’s cause in the last year.

Young donors are ready to raise funds for you: 51% of Generation Y donors and 49% of Generation X donors say they raised funds for a charitable cause or non-profit organization in the 12 months prior to the survey (Compared with only 36% of the baby boomers and 25% of the silent generation).

What is peer to peer fundraising?

Peer to peer fundraising is “a way of encouraging supporters of a cause to solicit members of their network of family, friends, colleagues and others.” In addition, fundraising has been individualized, enabling supporters to choose almost any activity they like to attract the attention and support of their peers.

The three main arguments for a non-profit organization to organize peer fundraising campaigns are:

  1. The activities at the centre of these campaigns are likely to encourage people, who would otherwise remain isolated, to engage actively with a specific group.
  2. They allow people who do not have the means (but who are passionate about a cause and want to make a contribution) to raise large sums of money.
  3. They are very popular with Generation Y and have the best online donation rate compared to other forms of fundraising.

The Test of Reality: The Challenges of Peer Fundraising

One of the primary concerns with peer-to-peer fundraising is its potential for retaining new donors. Charities and non-profit organizations have not yet succeeded in transforming people who have given a friend as part of a peer-to-peer fundraiser as a direct supporter of their cause.

Often these people are motivated by the relationship they have with the participant rather than the organization or cause in question. In the study published by Blackbaud in 2013, it can be seen that only 6% of donors to a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign have donated to support the charity. More people (24%) gave support to the campaigner and 65% gave for both reasons.

The key to success: what you need to succeed

Because peer-to-peer fundraising attracts a host of new people to your organization, it represents a tremendous opportunity to convert these people into as many new direct donors.

In addition to segmenting your donor communications social media becomes an important tool. Let your supporters integrate social media into their own fundraising campaign as easily as possible. If, for example, the person can post calls to donations on his or her Facebook or Twitter account, they can seek support from people they do not communicate with via e-mail or in person. To get started with a Facebook page for your non-profit or cause read more here.

More and more charitable and non-profit organizations are launching peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, and it’s hard not to be impressed by the scale of some events. What ultimately counts is the same criterion as for any other fundraising effort: It has to be well organized and you have to create an emotional connection with the participants.”

 

4 tips for Donor retention with Email Marketing.

Donor retention

We all have donors who no longer engage with us or haven’t made recent contributions. However, rather than seeking to acquire new donors, it is more productive to re-engage with these lapsed donors who are more likely to take action as they are already familiar with your organization and the processes. Here are some tips to help you succeed on this path.

Preventive strategies VS curative techniques

Organizations must seek to optimize donor experience and satisfaction by understanding their behavior. This is the best way to “hold” them, keep them active and limit the loss of donors. On the marketing front, this satisfaction requires a thorough personalization of the actions and operations undertaken. The goal is to offer your donors tools or services that really interest them.

Prevention is better than cure. But how do you begin to recover lapsed donors, once you have identified them? In this blog, we will discuss 4 innovative methods that will help you connect with lapsed donors again.

  1. Identify donors through segmentation

The first thing you need to do is to identify lapsed donors in your CRM by grouping them into a segment. This presupposes, of course, that you have a minimum of information about your donors and that you know their behaviors.

After consolidating these donors you can better align appeals based on donor interests.

  1. Know when to stop

You have to know, at some point, to draw a line on the donors who really do not react at all to your solicitations. Repeated recalls can quickly be perceived by donors as a form of unwanted invasion and may evoke resistance to appeals. It is important to respect their decision.

  1. Surprise to revitalize donors

Create messages your donors will love. Send them emails that are out of the ordinary. The idea is to try to be as inventive as possible without falling into provocation and exaggeration. Try to make your donor feel a sense of urgency and at the same time provoke a click.

  1. Offer your lapsed donors a satisfaction/opinion questionnaire

If your donors are not actively engaging with you, maybe they have good reasons. Is your process a hassle? Do you send too frequent emails? A donation route that they do not understand?

Your dormant donors probably have a lot to teach you. Questionnaires are always appreciated by donors. They feel valued because you show them that their opinion counts.

These techniques should not make you forget that the main goal is to actively engage donors in the future. For this, we will recommend that you place donor satisfaction at the heart of your marketing strategy.

GiveCentral's latest survey report: 2016 Insights on Nonprofit Giving

New Study Reveals Insights on Donor Giving Habits

Get The Survey ReportKnowing your audience is critically important. Understanding their habits, interests, what motivates them and their charitable preferences are important pillars of your fundraising strategy. Knowing how, when, where and why donors give are key building blocks and questions you need to be able answer to successfully raise money for your organization.That’s why GiveCentral launched a benchmark national study to uncover and track Americans’ charitable giving habits. GiveCentral’s 2016 Insights on Nonprofit Giving report reveals key insights and motivators behind the more than $358 billion American’s give to charity annually.* Here are some highlights from the benchmark study:

Digital Dollars

One out of three Americans indicated a preference for online giving. What’s more, of those respondents, 34 percent said they are likely to donate MORE when using electronic payment methods.

Tech Age of Giving

Forty-three percent of Americans have used a computer, smartphone or tablet to make a donation.

More Dollars Digitally

When asked the dollar amount of their most recent contribution, those who prefer to donate online gave an average of $115 versus an average donation of $82 for those who prefer cash or check. Similarly, those donors who prefer online giving gave an average of $781 annually compared to a $559 average for those who prefer cash or check.

Motivating Factors

Approximately 30 percent of Americans donate for religious reasons. Other motivating factors include: To help people in need (58 percent), feel fortunate and want to give back (39 percent).

Time Out

Evenings (36 percent) and weekends (26 percent) are the most likely time in which donations are made. For 18 percent of survey respondents, early morning is the ideal time.

Moving Story

Storytelling is an art, and an a must-have part of fundraising. That’s because nearly 20 percent of survey respondents said they were emotionally moved to donate by someone’s story. Get your copy of the full report here:Get The Survey ReportGiveCentral’s 2016 Insights on Nonprofit Giving report reveals other interesting and actionable findings along with recommendations how you can put them into action to benefit your fundraising efforts.


*Giving USA 2015: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2014

Giving Tuesday: December 1, 2015

Giving Tuesday: Giving Thanks and Giving Back

Here at GiveCentral, we are really looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday this year. It brings us all together in so many different ways with its simple focus on being thankful. Now, thanks to Giving Tuesday, which happens on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving week, there is a great focal point for expressing our thanks, and for kicking off the holiday giving season.

This global day of giving, created by 92nd Street YMCA in 2012, is in its fourth year. The growing movement brings together communities to work for a common mission to help give back, and each year, more and more organizations are joining the effort. Honestly, after the spending frenzy of Black Friday and the holiday weekend, Giving Tuesday is a bit of a needed reset for each of us!

At GiveCentral, we share the sentiment and the spirit behind Giving Tuesday, and we are going to help you and your organization take advantage of the excitement around it to rally your donors. While many of you have appeals and holiday giving programs running, Giving Tuesday can be a fun, one-off opportunity to get folks excited, and to increase giving.

If you’re wondering how to best highlight this global mission, here are a few of our tips to get you started.

  1. Key Messaging

It’s crucial to know your audience and their key values to tailor your Giving Tuesday messaging. Position Giving Tuesday as a universal day to celebrate and encourage giving, while using personal anecdotes that will resonate with your audience. The goal of your messaging should always be to effectively get your donor base to believe in your mission.


GiveCentral Best Practice Tip: Don’t be afraid to share what the donated funds will be used for. Sharing that the funds will be used towards a new playground or to fix the roof can drastically help increase funds. Donors are more likely to give when they can relate to what their funds are going toward.


  1. Communicate

Whether it’s a note in your bulletin, a handout, text message or email, be sure to maximize all of your communication platforms to share your Giving Tuesday mission. Educate your audience on what Giving Tuesday is and how they can get involved to make Giving Tuesday a success for your organization.


GiveCentral Best Practice Tip: Don’t forget to say thank you! A personalized thank you for a donation is an effective way to turn a one-time donor into a lifelong supporter. GiveCentral makes it easy for organizations by sending automatically customized thank you notes after each donation.


  1. Engage Your Resources

It takes a village! Don’t go at your campaign alone. Create a committee of individuals who are energized and excited to make Giving Tuesday a success for your organization. Leverage these individuals to be key communicators of your campaign through word of mouth, social media and more!


GiveCentral Best Practice Tip: Take advantage of the smartphone phenomenon and directly connect to your donors through GiveCentral’s Text-To-Connect platform. Texts are sent to your custom cell phone number to collect information and donations to take your Giving Tuesday campaign to the next level.


  1. Get Social

Giving Tuesday is catching momentum across the globe on social media. Jump in the conversation and share your story. Create tailored Facebook posts and Tweets to remind your followers of Giving Tuesday and your mission while gaining new followers.


GiveCentral Best Practice Tip: Create a personalized hashtag for your Giving Tuesday campaign for donors to easily tag, track and share!


With these tips, your organization will be well on its way to helping members celebrate Giving Tuesday and get into the holiday giving spirit!

Charitable Giving

Would You Like a Larger Slice of the Charitable Giving Pie?

Giving Grows, but Religious Donations Still Slide

Great news for nonprofits was just released this week: donations grew in 2014! According to Giving USA, charitable giving in the United States increased by 7.1 percent overall, rising to $358 billion. This is even higher than the amount projected in 2013 and a level of giving unseen since before the Great Recession. Individual contributions made up 72 percent of the increase, so you can tell that people are feeling generous.

ALSO READ: Charitable Giving On the Rise for Second Consecutive Year

Religious Donations

Another encouraging discovery: the ongoing upswing in charitable giving increased by 5.4 percent in 2014, far outpacing the five-year average growth rate of 3.4 percent.And once again, religious organizations received the largest share of charitable dollars (32 percent) and the estimated amount contributed to religion reached its highest value ever. The downside? As a percentage of charitable giving, religious donations remain in a 30-year slide. Dropping from 54 percent in 1987 to 32 percent today, religion is claiming an ever-shrinking piece of the charitable pie.So what is a faith-based nonprofit to do?First, be aware that there is ever-growing competition for your donors’ time, attention, and generosity.Excellent causes abound, and they’re all asking for the same dollars you are. Don’t let this discourage you from telling your story, but get comfortable with the idea that you might not be a donor’s top priority on a given day (and try again later, of course).Second, give your donors a reason to notice you and not the other guy.Inboxes are filled with tempting offers, social media is chock-a-block with interesting links, and other demands for attention are almost literally everywhere you can imagine. Consider what you are doing differently to stand out, and highlight what makes your cause unique.Third, follow up graciously.A thank-you note is certainly in order for every donation, but stories of what-happened-next speak to both donors and prospects alike. Demonstrating the good work that you do encourages potential donors to support your efforts and makes current donors consider giving more.The findings from the 2015 Giving USA report are encouraging, but this news is only the whipped cream on our delicious pie. Don’t eat your slice and assume more is always on the way! Many ingredients are needed and we’ve got to keep doing the work that mixes them all together.To learn how GiveCentral has helped hundreds of organizations find the right mix, just ask! Sign up for a webinar or contact us here

GiveCentral Survey Report: 2015 Predictions for Nonprofit Giving

The Times, They are a Changin’ – New Survey Report on Technology and Nonprofit Giving

by Bridget Mayer

New Nonprofit Giving Survey: 2015 Predictions for Nonprofit Giving

Communication and Technology Adoption Key to the Future of Donor Management

front cover of the GiveCentral 2015 "Predictions for Nonprofit Giving" Survey ReportChange is practically synonymous with a new year and this rings true for nonprofit organizations in 2015. The next few weeks and months are a time for fresh fundraising strategies and an overall penchant to shake things up.Technology is one area in particular that is driving forward change within nonprofits of all shapes and sizes, regardless of the industry. Here at GiveCentral, we’re constantly striving to learn more about technology’s transformative effect on donor giving and how organizations are responding to the digital age’s influence. Whether it be how mobile technology is mixing things up or how donor management tools have changed, it’s important to us to stay on top of the latest trends.We recently conducted a proprietary survey among more than 80 nonprofit senior executives, including senior religious leaders, Chief Executives, Chief Financial Officers and development managers across a wide range of nonprofit organizations. We wanted to identify the best donor management practices and understand the biggest giving-related challenges and opportunities that nonprofits will face in 2015.You can download the full report here. What we found in our inaugural report, 2015 Predictions for Nonprofit Giving, was both enlightening and encouraging. Senior executives of nonprofits recognize there are many challenges ahead—from the increasing level of competition for donors to the pressure of technological change. The good news, however, is that they are preparing for the future.A few statistics in particular stuck out to us as we dove into the data, including the importance of effective donor communication to engage with donors, how donors are becoming more comfortable with online giving and the need for increased technology education. Below, I’ve outlined these findings.To ensure your organization is positioned to increase its donations in 2015, please check out the full report for a comprehensive look at the current nonprofit giving environment.

Lack of Communication Puts Donor Relations at Risk

Many nonprofit executives reveal that the greatest barrier to donor engagement and giving is a lack of communication.

  • Despite 84 percent of respondents reporting their organization embraces technology change, more than one-quarter (27 percent) do not have a formal email communication schedule in place and only 10 percent send weekly donor emails.
  • One-quarter (26 percent) still rely on weekly printed newsletters. As a result, nonprofit senior executives are leaving many opportunities on the table to communicate and engage with donors to build stronger relationships and increase giving.

Donor Fear of Technology Diminishing

Nonprofit senior executives said that although they still face some hesitation from donors when it comes to technology, more and more are becoming comfortable with digital channels.

  • 84 percent of nonprofits recognize the importance of catering to a new generation of donors and embrace technology change.
  • Only one-in-ten nonprofits retain fully manual donation processing, demonstrating the prevalence of technological advances in giving programs.

Donor Education is Key to Embracing Technology Change

While donors are becoming more comfortable with the idea of technology change, increased education is needed to close the gap. At the same time, organizations are confident their donors can move past the perceived complexity of online giving programs.

  • Nearly half (49 percent) of survey respondents said their donors don’t understand online giving.
  • Yet, only 12 percent of respondents say online giving technology is too complex for their organization to use.

As you usher in 2015’s changes and begin to prepare for the years down the road, we’re hopeful that the donor giving information in this survey from nonprofit leaders is valuable to your organization. Whether it’s gaining a small piece of insight, finding comfort that you’re on track for technology’s demands or even realizing you are behind the digital curve when it comes to nonprofit giving, please let us know what you thought of the survey results in the comments below.Wait, there’s more!To confirm you are positioned to increase your donations in 2015, please contact me at bridget@givecentral.org to schedule an analysis of your donor management practices.