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Did you find these trends in the new Giving USA data?

We have to admit, we weren’t expecting much “new” in the 2014 Giving USA numbers released last week.

But then we reviewed them and listened to the analysis. And it was pretty exciting to see that young donors and a recovering economy are directly impacting the nonprofit world. We’ve boiled these trends down into four key points that every mission can put to use.

  1. More mega gifts came from young donors, including Sean Parker of Napster, Jan Koum of WhatsApp, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook (again) and others under the age of 40. This generation is giving earlier in life because they want to experience the gift, rather than wait until they die to distribute the goods. This knowledge is the secret weapon you need to work effectively with young donors, who value participation with and communication from the missions they support.
  2. The increase in arts, culture and the humanities is a reflection of donors reallocating their gifts, away from human services. As the economy recovers, these donors are sensing less urgency from the sector and choosing to fund their first loves of art, culture and education. This is where they are engaged and benefit, where they receive good communication and stewardship. This should be a huge wake-up call for all human services organizations. It’s time to work on your case for support and donor engagement plan!
  3. Total giving rose 5.4 percent to $358 billion in 2014. Not only is this number above pre-recession giving, it represents the biggest and fastest growth in giving following a recession since Giving USA began tracking data in 1974. The pie is getting bigger and your organization’s share should too.
  4. Peer-to-peer fundraising is on the rise. Donors (many of them young) want to micro-aggregate their gifts with those of other people to have a bigger impact. An effective example: Relay for Life and its online giving component, which allows friends and relatives to sponsor a runner. Consider providing a way for your donors to work together to support your cause.

For more information about how the Giving USA data means to your fundraising efforts, contact us at

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